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CK^Pcnix PublUKirvg Compaq 



Copyright 1900 by imk Penn Publishing Company 



£duc- Psych. 
Librarx 

V 

CONTENTS. 



OHAPTER PAGH 

I. Historical a 

II. Implements 26 

III. Educational 40 

IV. Links 80 

V. Golfers and Styles. 102 

VI. Match Play 120 

VII. Handicapping 125 

VIII. The Rules 157 

IX. Etiquette of Golf 172 

Glossary 174 



.1.31 £ 



GOLF 



CHAPTER I 

HISTORICAL 

"When Scotland gave to England the rather 
dubious blessing of her Scottish kings, she gave 
therewith a gift which was an undoubted boon : 
the game of golf. For very many years England 
was more blind to the merits of the game than 
of the Stuarts. The Scottish Court, taking its 
country leisure at Greenwich, recreated itself for 
the toils of government by playing golf on Black- 
heath. If Blackheath was as flinty then as it is 
to-day, that fact may partly excuse and explain 
their governing so badly. 

It does not seem, however, that golf was of in- 
digenous growth in Scotland. So far back as the 
date of James VI., we find an Act of the Scottish 
Parliament forbidding the importation of Dutch- 

5 



6 ooir 

made golf-halls as injurious to native industry. 
This stringent protectionist measure shows that 
the game must have been largely cultivated by 
the Mynheers, but its records are hard to trace. 
Here and there wo come on a picture — there is 
one by Van der Veldt in the National Gallery — 
or od an old Dutch tile, representing the game, 
usually on the ice. But this was not an exclu- 
sively glacial epoch of the game, for there is an 
account, often quoted before, in an old book 
named u Les Contes du Eoi Cambrinus," by one 
Charles Deulin, of a game named chole, a bastard 
species of golf played in French Flanders, lie 
represents it as a wry popular game. In his tale 
one Roger, a wheelwright, is so great a player 
that in all the country round he is known aa " le 
grand choleur." But we cannot think that he 
exactly played the game, for he had a wonderful 
el iih given him by no less a person than St. An- 
tony. St. Antony was thus generous in return 
for some small matter of smith's work which 
Roger did for him, and besides giving him the 
wonderful elnb, he granted him two boons — one, 
thai n<> <>' • who s;it on the stump of the elm tree 
in front of nit hy should be able to move \\ it h- 

ont his leave*, and the other, that no one who 
stood on ;i certain square patch of carpet should 



Historical 7 

be moved therefrom against his will. So Roger 
beat every one at chole, including the Devil, from 
whom he won a whole sackful of souls. When 
death at length came for Roger, the " grand 
choleur " asked the monarch to take a seat for a 
moment on the elm trunk — whence he did not 
permit him to stir until he had covenanted for a 
hundred years longer of life. So again he golfed 
and beat all comers. When the hundred years 
were up Death called again and took Roger with 
him to Purgatory. Here the Devil declined to 
receive one whom he knew so well. " Why," 
said Diabolos, " he would depopulate my king- 
dom. He has won heaps of souls from me 
already." Death was much perplexed where to 
bestow Roger. The latter suggested that they 
should try heaven. Death laughed, but said it 
was no harm trying, though he was sure Roger 
Id not be admitted. St. Peter supported 
Death's view, when they arrived at the portal, 
but as a favor allowed Roger to come inside the 
gate for a moment in order to talk to St. Antony, 
whereupon Roger clapped down his square of 
carpet, and since they could not move him they 
wore forced to let him stay. 

Perhaps this account may not be strictly accu- 
rate, but it is remarkable as describing a game 



S Golf 

which is clearly a transition phase between 
hockey and golf. Chole, in fact, is a sort of 
missing link. It proceeded in this fashion. If 
Tom Morris and Hugh Kirkaldy were ffoins- to 
play a match at chole they would first fix on 
an object which was to be hit. A church door 
some live miles distant, cross country, seems 
to have been a favorite goal. This settled on, 
match-making began — a kind of game of brag, 
"I will hack myself to hit the thing in five 
innings," Tom might say. (We will explain in a 
moment what an "innings" meant.) " Oh, I'll 
back myself to hit it in four," Hugh might an- 
swer. tv Well ; Til say three, then," Tom might 
perhaps say, and that might be the finish of the 
bragging, for Hugh might not feel it in his power 
to do it in two, so he must let Tom try. Then 
Tom would hit oil", and when he came to the ball 
would t< i e it and hit again, and so a third time. 
lint wln-n they Peached the hall this third time, 
it would he no longer Tom's turn to hit, hut 
Bugh's. Ih' would be Allowed to tee the ball up 
to dechole, as it was called -that, is to say, to hit 
it hack- again as far as he could. Then Tom 

would begin again and have three more shots to- 
es 

wards the object ; after which Hugh would again 

have one shot back. Then, if in the course of his 



Ibistorical & 

third innings of three shots Tom were to hit the 
church door he would win the match — if he failed, 
he would lose it. 

This was the game, then, which Roger, by favor 
of St. Antony, played so well. Both played with 
one ball — there was a choleur and a decholeur; 
a server and a striker oat as one might say — and 
in this humorous tale (which we owe to a transla- 
tion by Miss Bruce in "Longman's Magazine") 
we find a very important chapter in the history of 
the evolution of golf. At the club-house of the 
Royal Wimbledon Golf Club there is one of the 
clubs which they appear still to use in Flanders. 
It looks as if it were meant for digging up whins 
with, but Zola says that they drive about four 
hundred yards with these clubs — he must mean 
on the ice, if he is really a realist. 

The history of Scottish golf is written chiefly 
in terms of a wine merchant's catalogue. There 
are long lists in the Club records of magnums of 
claret lost or won on the links. Also its history 
is largely written in Sabbatarian or patriotic en- 
actments of the Scottish Parliament. You were 
not to play golf on a Sabbath unless you had 
been to Church in the morning. (They are not 
so scrupulous at Sandwich now.) Altogether 
golf was looked on with disfavor by the author- 



10 <3olf 

itieSj who deemed that " shooting at the butts " 
— in old-fashioned spelling — was more helpful for 
a nation's liberties than "golf and foot-ball." 
But golf, like other things, throve on persecution. 
It was all very well for parliaments to enact that 
golf and foot-ball be " utterly cryit down," but 
the Stuart kings were but the more disposed to 
play on that account — sometimes in partnership 
with humble men, such as " one Patersone, a 
shoemaker." 

All this went on before the days of gutta- 
percha. Men played with " feather balls" — that 
is, balls of leather stufTed so tightly with feathers 
that when taken out the feathers tilled a hat. 
The makers used to press the feathers in with a 
wooden pin fastened in a piece of board. They 
pressed against the board with their chests in 
order to cram the feathers in the more tightly. 
It is said that this induced a pulmonary com- 
plainl perhaps it would have been better, after 
all to have let Dutchmen make the golf-balls. 
Coming down to days of which our records are 
more accurate, we find that the feather golf-balls 
Used to cost four shillings— a vast, sum in those 
days. Men played much with " baffy spoons " 
made by Eugh Philp, because if y<>u >pped a 
ball with the iron, four shillings wei'e gone for- 



Historical 11 

ever. No man who respected himself ever played 
with a club of another maker than Philp, nor in 
less dignified clothes than a tall hat, swallow- 
tailed coat and knee breeches. These were the 
days of the grand old manner. They had a cer- 
tain number of iron clubs — one, certainly, the 
u sand iron " as it was called. It resembled the 
heavy iron of to-day, but differed from it in 
having a concave face, like the latter-day niblick, 
or Park's patent lofter. Specimens of strange 
old golfing weapons are kept under a glass case 
at the Club-house of the Royal and Ancient of 
St. Andrews. Of Scottish golf, the oldest ade- 
quate records are those of St. Andrews, and of 
the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers 
who played at Musselburgh. These courses must 
have been a great deal narrower then than now. 
Trampling by the human foot and attack by the 
golfer's niblick have worn away the whins which 
beset these links, until they are almost any 
breadth. AVe are told fearful tales of the whins 
of the past. Other evidences are not lacking of 
the greater horrors of golf at that epoch. Tso 
man would go to theology, and waste his vocab- 
ularv now in giving to the bunker which we get 
into going to the long-hole-coming-home at St. 
Andrews, such a desperate name as "hell." Yet 



12 (3olf 

that is the title by which it is so well known to 
us, though there is often fine lying in the bottom. 
And this name was given before theologians had 
done so much as they now have towards cooling 
our conceptions of that undesirable place. Pan- 
demonium, at Musselburgh, is still horrid, but no 
one need get into it. In what we know of the 
golf of the past Ave see several differences from 
our own golf, which no doubt have arisen from 
the greater narrowness of courses. Allen Robert- 
son, a small man, but of little less fame in golf 
mythology than Hercules, used habitually to 
drive from the tee, going to the heathery hole 
with a short spoon. This took him nicely over 
Walkinshaw's bunker and laid him short of the 
bunkers beyond. But he could scarcely have got 
home with his second. The methods to-day are 
different. We drive to the right or to the left 
of the second lot of bunkers and so are home 
without trouble in two. In Allan Robertson's 
lime there were whins, both to left and right, 
and there was but one holeoneach putting-green, 
each h<>le being played twice — onee going out 
and onee coming home. This single instance is 
an illustration of a tendency. All that we have 
from our golfing fore fathers —the dubs they used, 
the predominance in their maxims of the sure 



Historical 13 

over the far — everything goes to tell us that golf 
was a more exact science then, that accuracy was 
more precious then, as compared with length, 
than it is now. For those clubs which Hugh 
Philp made so well and which Allan Robertson 
played with so well are so light and delicate that 
the slogging scratch-player of to-day regards 
them — with reverence, it is true, as curious — but 
as toys for the practical uses of the game. 

There is no doubt that there were very good 
players then. The role of the laudator temporis 
acti is very graceful and tempting, but facts tell 
us this — that Allan Robertson was regarded as 
the best player of his day, and that " Old Tom 
Morris," who was playing at the same time, has, 
even as an old man, played very fine golf. 
Whether Allan was really a finer player than 
Tom is a hard matter to decide. They played 
no set matches, but in their friendly matches 
Tom had the better of it ; had he had his way he 
would dearly have liked a real set-to with Allan. 
"We can only speculate. Certainly Allan's pres- 
tige was very great. Then George Glennie's 
score of 88, which for so many years was the 
amateurs' record in a St. Andrews competition, 
is a figure which is quite likely to win a St. An- 
drews medal to-day. It ought not to ; but now 



U Golt 

and again it does. Of course the lies are not 
nearly so good as they were before there was so 
much play ; but Hugh Kirkcaldy cannot have 
got into many bad lies when he made his record 
round of 73 — nor can Andrew, his brother, when, 
more recently, he did the round in Ttt. Be that 
as it may though, we think most people will 
agree with us in this, at all events — that amateur 
play has much improved lately, as compared with 
professional play. And from the general point 
of view it is hard to think but that the play all 
round must be better. Certainly clubs and balls 
are better, many more people play, and we are 
not aware that human beings have appreciably 
deteriorated. In all other games there has been 
an advance ; it seems unlikely that golf can be 
the sole exception. 

But all the while that Scotland had been golf- 
ing, no one in England had more than heard of 
the game, unless he had gone north of the Tweed, 
which few people then did, or to Blackheath, 
which yet fewer did; for not only did the Scot- 
tish game survive the Scottish kings who intro- 
duced it, but of all golf clubs that at Blackheath, 
where the Stuarts played, has the oldest records. 
This is a glory which can never be taken from it 
— until some one unearths the authentic records 



Ibfstoncal 15 



of the club match in which Cardinal Beaton took 
sides against the devil — though with less success 
than Flemish Roger with St. Antony's Club. 



was called, at Black heath, are inextricably mixed 
up with the records of a yet older club there — 
the Knuckle Club. Eventually the two merged, 
so far as one makes out, and what was the Golf 
Club in summer became the Knuckle Club in the 
winter. From their records it would seem that 
they were thirsty souls — these knuckling and 
golfing Blackheathens — as other golfers since 
have been. But where all our golf would have 
been without them, no one, humanly speaking, 
knows ; for when first a St. Andrews man came 
to Westward Ho ! and saw its mighty capabilities 
as a golf links, it was from Blackheath that most 
of the men came to play on it and to let its ex- 
istence be known. That redoubtable Mr. George 
Glennie came down and won the medal as often 
as he liked. But from that moment golf began 
to " boom." It did not boom very quickly at 
first, but Westward Ho ! taught men at Liver- 
pool to look favorably on a rabbit-warreny place 
which has since become the Iloylake Golf Links 
and "raised" Mr. "Johnnie Ball." About the 
same time it occurred to the London Scottish Yol- 



16 Golf 

unteers that Wimbledon Common — their head- 
quarter camp — was a possible place to play golf 
on. This clnb soon so grew and multiplied that 
the iron house which is the volunteer shelter 
became inadequate, and a secession of the plebs 
resulted in the purchase of the present house of 
the Royal Wimbledon Golf Club at the other 
end of the Common. Meanwhile the old London 
Scottish Club still plays from the Putney end ; 
and it is creditable to all concerned that the con- 
sequent collisions are so few. 

Still, men with golf-clubs were a rarity at any 
railway station or ordinary place of meeting in 
England — there was a lull in the " boom." 
Gutta-percha had been invented, and for a shil- 
ling could be bought a better ball than the four- 
shilling feather thing which the men in swallow- 
tailed coats and high hats used to play with ; but 
still the Englishman and the cricketer regarded 
as a fool anyone who was incautious enough to 
call himself a golfer. But by slow, slow degrees 
a spirit of toleration crept in. It began to be 
observed that some men who admittedly were 
no fools played golf. Finally, Englishmen and 
cricketers began to suspect themselves of folly 
that they had not played golf before. Inaword, 
golf became the fashion — golf is now the fashion. 



Historical 17 

Golf clubs sprang up in the most unlikely places 
— golf links were started on the most unpromis- 
ing ground. Fine meadow land, unredeemed 
jungle, stony and blasted heaths— every scrap of 
ground on which there was room for driving a 
golf-ball was put to that purpose and called a golf 
links. Men play golf to-day on places at which 
the imagination — if he had any — of the old golfer 
would have been paralyzed. AVe have, ourselves, 
played on a common whereon, after the tee-shot, 
the niblick was the only possible weapon ; and 
this was true, even of the putting-greens. But 
when w T e mentioned this to the enthusiastic old 
golfer who had started golf there he said, ter- 
rified — " Hush, hush ! For goodness' sake don't 
let the other members hear you say that ! They 
have never played anywhere else, and they think 
it is splendid." 

That is exactly how it is. Most of these poor 
people have never played anywhere else, and so 
they do not mind it. It is just what is said of 
canaries — they can be happy in a cage because 
they have never been out of one. So that, far 
from pitying these folk, it is impossible to do 
otherwise than envy them — these satis leati who 
know nothing of St. Andrews and Westward Ho ! 
and Sandwich. For besides these bush-whack- 

2 



18 Golf 

ing and stone-breaking courses, the new spirit of 
English golf exploited courses which were really 
golf links. Enough for Sandwich that the dele- 
gates for the Amateur Championship selected it 
for the arena of that contest in 1S02. Its excel- 
lence requires no other testimony. Littlestone, 
again, is an excellent English links, and so are 
Felixstowe and Great Yarmouth. One of the 
latest finds is Brancaster — a right royal links. 
] 3ut even to enumerate the links in England might 
fill a small book, while in Scotland, too— its ancient 
stronghold — the game has been spreading with 
increasing popularity. It lias spread until nearly 
every blade of grass has been hacked off that un- 
fortunate St. Andrews Links, whither so many 
golfing pilgrims annually wend. Nor is St. 
Andrews peculiar. From Kirkwall down to Land's 
End one can scarcely put one's linger on a bit of 
the map which does not cover a golf-links. They 
have golf-links — and real good ones — in Ireland. 
Not an English colony is without them — from 
Japan and all the Shiny East to Australia and 
New Zealand, and back to Egypt, Malta and the 
Riviera, or westward again to Canada. Lately, 
moreover, there has been a demand tor profes- 
sional green-keepers for America, — "and most 
likely' 1 wrote the applicant, "we shall want 



Historical 19 

many, for there seems to be a regular golf bliz- 
zard setting in here." 

j The wonder is, chiefly, not that golf should 
have " boomed," but that it should have been so 
long in " booming." England had seen golf in 
occasional places for years before she began to 
take the interest in it which it deserves. Golf and 
tennis probably divide between them the honors 
of being" the most ancient of athletic games. 
There is reference in the "Arabian Nights " to 
something which may have been polo, though 
the translator calls the weapon used in the game 
a golf-club. More probably the game was an 
equestrian one of some sort, y 

But England, in assimilating Scotland's game, 
has somewhat altered it in the process. There 
used to be something so grand and dignified 
about it when men used to play in swallow-tails 
and high hats ; and in Scotland a portion of that 
high and noble spirit broods over the game still. 
But the Englishman did not accept the game as 
an inheritance with all its traditions. He took 
it up rather as a parvenu who has purchased a 
house from aristocratic owners. lie came in 
with the spirit of cricket possessing him, and 
plays golf with less than Scottish solemnity. He 
is known to laugh when his adversary makes a 



20 <3otf 

bad stroke — he sometimes plays in flannels, and 
takes his coat off — he often runs after the ball, 
frequently shouts at it, and almost invariably 
counts his score. This last is regarded as his 
capital offense by the antiquaries. They say 
that match-play by holes is the real game of golf 
■ — that score-play is but a device for bringing to- 
gether a number of competitors. Of course this 
is perfectly true, but why a man should not put 
down his strokes if he pleases, to give him an 
added interest to the interest of the match, is 
hard to see. Of course, he should not keep back 
other players by insisting on holeing out after all 
chance of his halving the hole has vanished 
This is annoying both to the man with whom he 
is playing and to those behind. But if he is in- 
terfering with no man's time or pleasure, why 
should lie not count his strokes if it pleases him? 
It is hard to think that it will please him, be- 
cause most of those who put down their score 
on paper go round in numbers which can give 
pleasure only to their opponents. Doubtless, 
however, the score-keeping is an index of prog- 
ress - or the reverse — and with the qualifica- 
tions which we have mentioned, we fail to see any 
Legitimate ground of complaint with the practise. 
JJut it is only early in the golfer's career that he 



Ibtetovfcal 21 

will find it necessary to carry pencil and paper 
for this purpose. When he has arrived at any 
steadiness of game at all he will find it quite suf- 
ficient to settle in his mind on a figure which he 
shall take as his average for each hole, and to 
reckon his score by saying to himself " that is 
one," or " two," or whatever it may be, " above 
or below the average." Say the player takes six 
strokes a hole for his hypothetical average — then, 
if he does the first hole in 7, he will say, "that 
makes me one above the average — say he now 
does the second hole in 5, and so be, on that 
hole, one below the average, he will reckon on 
this one to the good against his previous one to 
the bad and say, " that makes me even with the 
average " — and so forth. Of course, this sort of 
thing will not do for competitions, but for a man's 
personal satisfaction it will be found quite ade- 
quate, and it is simplicity itself. 

Also, in taking up golf, the Englishman has 
gone in for handicap competitions to an extent 
which is an abhorrence to the old school. Yery 
likely they are right, but on the other side it must 
be said that, as a rule, Englishmen bet less on 
matches than the Scottish golfers seem to have 
done. The old school talks a deal about the 
" pot-hunting" which goes on on English links ; 



22 ©olf 

but though there is a degree of truth in it, it 
must be borne in mind that the pot is generally 
of very moderate value. Scarcely ever will the 
value of it pay the hotel bill and traveling ex- 
penses of him who is engaged in its chasse. 
People do not really go to competition meetings 
nearly so much for the sake of the prizes as be- 
cause they know that they will meet a number of 
their friends, and get a lot of pleasant matches. 
The objectionable spirit of " pot-hunting " enters 
into the business very little. 

If the prizes were principally scratch-prizes they 
would be of interest to a very select few, com- 
paratively speaking. At St. Andrews, until a 
very few years ago, there were no handicap prizes 
at all, nor was there any sweepstakes associated 
with the medal. Probably it may be true to say 
that there was no handicap prize in Scotland. 
Now theirname is legion. The medal given to the 
St. Andrews Club by King William IV. used to 
be the highest honor (excepting the Open Cham- 
pionship) that an amateur golfer could win, as 
representing success in the best, field. Now the 
Amateur Championship has taken its place by 
instituting a competition open <<> a much wider 
field. But the posit ion taken up by theold school 
is not quite defensible. They truly say that the 



Historical 23 

game used to be entirely a game of match-play ; 
that handicap prizes were practically unknown. 
This is quite true ; but it does not follow, as they 
appear to assume, that the game must necessarily 
remain such as they played it. "We say this, 
though of our personal preference we are with 
them in their love of the match and dislike of the 
handicap ; but for all that, if men like playing 
for prizes under handicap we can see nothing 
wicked in their doing so. 

While penning these lines there has come to 
hand a copy of the Melbourne Age, containing 
an account of the presentation of prizes to the 
members of the Melbourne Golf Club by their 
President, Sir James Macbain. Plainly, this an- 
tipodean golf club is in a highlj r flourishing con- 
dition. By the same post a correspondent en- 
closes a cutting, headed " Golf a la Francaise," 
and running thus : 

" Under the heading of ' A New English Game,' a popular 
Paris newspaper writes as follows : — ' It is called " Le 
Golf ," and resembles both "crockett" and lawn-tennis. 
Its special feature consists in the use of a ball, a sort of 
marble, extremely small, which is struck by a mallet. 
One element of the game consists in the erection of a little 
mound, recalling the pastime of i4 forteresses " played with 
marbles in our young days. " Le Golf," which is indulged 
in especially by those persons whom lawn-tennis, with 



24 Oolt 

its obligation to keep on running about continually, 
soon fatigues, is at present the favorite amusement in 
the suburbs of London. Backed up bj T our Anglomania, 
it will be the rage this summer in our parks and country 
houses, and, as it does not require a large space of ground, 
in our gardens and villas.' " 

It is very satisfactory to find such authoritative 
testimony to the probability of the success of the 
game in France. If, however, the French play 
with anything of their national elan, and drive, 
as M. Zola tells ns they do, four hundred yards, 
the introduction of the game is likely to be of 
much benefit to the glazier trade (to say nothing 
of the surgical profession) in the neighborhood 
of " our gardens and villas." Some ladies play 
remarkably well ; bufe this is, perhaps, but a mo- 
tive the more for the unwillingness of men to let 
them share in the game on equal terms. The 
superior sex points out that the full swing is 
ungraceful for ladies. But they should remember 
that in most cases the swing which they jnstly 
condemn as ungraceful was learned by ladies 
when no longer children. Now, it is well known 
that no man acquires a graceful style unless he 
Learned the game as a boy ; therefore it is unjust 
to expect grace from a lady who learned after 
arriving at years of discretion. On the other 
hand, ladies who began golf as children have, in 



Ibistorfcal 25 

point of fact, exceedingly neat and graceful swings 
— so that the contention falls to the ground. And 
all the chief elements of delight in the game — its 
science, its leisureliness, and its healthful exercise 
— make it as proper an object of feminine as of 
masculine pursuit. The objection that ladies can- 
not be brought to see the serious nature of the 
immortal game — that they have an innate predis- 
position to talk and to " move on the stroke " — 
may be conclusively answered (if, indeed, it calls 
for an answer) by pointing to the silent, motion- 
less and appreciative spectators, many of them 
ladies, who accompany golf matches in Scotland 
and in certain parts of England, where the 
etiquette of the grand, old manner is properly 
observed. 



26 <30lf 



CHAPTER II 



IMPLEMENTS 



We cannot follow back into its earliest stage 
of evolution from the primeval hockey stick, the 
first golf-club of primeval man ; but we know 
that the golf-club was but a clumsy weapon be* 
fore the days of old Hugh Philp and that Scot- 
land imported feather golf-balls from Holland, 
until a protectionist Act of the Scottish Parlia- 
ment forbade it. A rude weapon, the effort of a 
Welsh carpenter, was once lost by its owner in 
the St. Andrews club-house. It was found, after 
many days, reposing in stately anachronism with 
the real old golf-club relics of the past, under a 
glass case. An antiquary had mistaken it for an 
antique— a mistake the like of which antiquaries 
have made before. 

Hugh Philp made drivers and all wooden clubs 
much lighter than the earlier specimens which 
are still extant, and thnn the club elaborated by 
the AWlsh carpenter. Making all allowance for 
the tendency to praise the time that is past, Philp 



Umplements 27 

undoubtedly put a beautiful finish on his clubs, 
and made them of sterling good wood. But they 
were light — lighter than the scratch-playing 
amateur and the professional uses to-day. Also 
as regards the wooden clubs, there were more of 
them. The golfer of to-day uses far more iron 
clubs, in comparison to the wooden ones, than 
the golfer of fifty years ago used. Gutta-percha 
is partly — principally, we suspect — the reason. 
It is, perhaps, less elastic as a material for golf- 
balls than the old leather, stuffed with feathers. 
It is also far cheaper, and a top with the iron 
does not destroy it so utterly. Year by year the 
tendency seems to be to play with heavier and 
with stiffer clubs. The demand for golfing 
materials has grown so rapidly of late that it is 
hard to get good clubs or good balls. As a rule, 
you will get better clubs if you buy them straight 
out of the club-maker's shop than you will get at 
the general supply stores of the city. Especially is 
this the case if you have a friend in the club- 
maker's shop. Your friend will then see that 
you are served with a fine and well-seasoned bit 
of wood, both for shaft and head. 

As the advice which we are presumptuous 
enough to offer is given chiefly in the interests of 
the beginner, we may say at once that the begin- 



28 <30U 

ner will do well to play with a stiffish club. The 
spring in the shaft which feels so seductive is apt 
to lead to inaccuracy. Many materials have been 
tried for shafts — including, besides all kinds of 
woods, rhinoceros hide and shafts with a steel 
core. We are inclined to think that for driving 
clubs — indeed for all wooden clubs— no shafts are 
better than the ordinary hickory ones, if they be 
good of their kind. But lance wood and green- 
heart are also good for shafts, though, in our 
opinion, somewhat too heavy. For the shafts, 
of iron-headed clubs, orange wood is perhaps 
better than any ; for though it, again, is heavy, 
the weight matters less in this case, and the orange 
wood keeps its straightness rather better than 
hickory. But hickory is most commonly used, 
and is quite good enough. Ash shafts are not so 
good — the spring in them is apt to run all up the 
shaft; and the best driving shafts are considered 
to be those in which there are afew inches of lino 
steely spring just above the whipping which hinds 
shaft and head together. Still, some men like to 
play with shafts made of their old billiard cues, 
and since this wood is sure to be well seasoned the 
conceit is harmless. 

For heads beech is certainly the best. Apple 
and pear and hornbeam are perhaps more durable ; 



Implements 29 

but that is because they are harder, and the hard- 
ness diminishes the driving quality. The best 
driving heads of all are those in which the grain 
of the wood runs out towards the face ; but this 
is a point which need not be insisted on. If the 
hickory for the shaft and the beech for the head 
be well seasoned, and the club be well finished 
off, the reasonable golfer can expect nothing more. 
He may expect, however, with reason, to find in 
the club-maker's shop a fair selection of these 
good clubs, so that he may make a choice of the 
weight and style of club which suits his fancy. 
Excellent clubs may be bought second-hand out 
of the sets with which professionals play — but 
for these the professional rightly and naturally 
asks a fancy price. Whether this is worth the 
paying depends a great deal on the financial posi- 
tion of the purchaser, but the very commonest 
form of golfing disappointment is to find that one 
cannot play a bit with a dearly-bought club which 
had seemed a perfect wand of Jehu when we had 
it on trial. 

The ordinary wooden stock-in-trade of the 
golfer of to-day is seldom more than two drivers 
— one in case of accident to the other, and a 
brassey — i. <?., a wooden club soled with iron. 
Never start out with one driver only, for if any 



30 Golf 

loosening of the glue or lead occurs, to say noth- 
ing- of graver misadventure, you are rather at a 
loss. Many men habitually use two drivers, one 
for driving down the wind, or where a high shot 
is desirable, the other, a stiffer club, for driving a 
low, skimming shot against the wind. When the 
distance is less than that of a full drive, or if the 
lie be bad, they take the brassey — in a worse lie, 
or for a shorter distance again, the cleek ; and so 
on down to full shots with the iron, to three- 
quarter, half and quarter shots, to wrist shots and 
so to putts. But in this scale of gradation there 
is nothing fixed by hard and fast line or rule, so 
that a man shall say this is a full iron shot — this 
a half-shot. What is one man's full-shot is 
another's half-shot ; there is no use in dogmatiz- 
ing. The shot which one man will pitch with an 
iron, another will take a mashie to, and a third 
would run up the same with a putter; and all 
three may lie equally near the hole, and each club 
was equally right. Even in the case of the man 
who used two drivers there need be nothing hard 
and fast about the names. Very possibly be will 
call the driver with which he hits the more loft v 
ball a grassed club, or long spoon ; and we need 
not quarrel about it. The great thing is to find 

out what soil of weapon you can do best with, 



Implements 31 

and to play with, that in spite of names. If you 
can play best with a walking-stick there is no rea- 
son that you should not use it — in fact there is 
every reason that you should. But, of course, there 
are certain things Avhich cannot be done with a 
walking-stick, and which you must learn to do 
somehow. You must learn to drive a tolerable 
distance tolerably straight ; you must learn to 
play out of a bad lie, and you must learn to lift 
the ball up out of a hole ; for though the putter 
may be the club sometimes, it certainly is not the 
club if a bunker yawn between you and the put- 
ting-green. In this case you must lift the ball 
over the bunker. In old days men used to do this 
a great deal with baffy spoons ; nowadavs they 
do it with an iron or a mashie. But to a great 
many beginners this lofting stroke is the most 
difficult of all, and it is our firm conviction that a 
great many of those who fail with the iron would 
lind it far easier to play the stroke tolerably well 
with a baffy, or short spoon — a short, much-lofted 
wooden club. Some of them have even tried the 
baffy, and found this to be true ; but very few 
indeed have the courage to stick to the baffy. 
Somebody has told them that no good player ap. 
proaches with the baffy — that its use is a confes- 
sion of incapacity with the iron. Well, why not \ 



33 Oolf 

If you find it the easier club to loft the ball with, 
use it. Accept the situation, and you will not 
feel xery deeply the sting of the gibe about your 
ineffectual iron-play if, with the baffy, you loft 
nicely on to the putting-green while your more 
vain opponent foozles into the bunker. There- 
fore, we would urge the beginner, if he finds the 
iron a puzzle, to add a short or baffy spoon to his 
wooden clubs, and we think he will thank us for 
our advice. Certainly the green-keeper will thank 
us, for the iron or mashie in the hands of a be- 
ginner is a cruel weapon for the green. 

The brassey should be rather stiffer in the shaft 
and rather shorter than the driver. In weight it 
should, of the two dillerences, be rather heavier. 
Naturally, the more its face is laid back the 
higher it will loft the ball. A flatter-faced 
brassey will drive further, but it cannot be used 
with as much effect as a more spooned club when 
there is a steep bank or other high obstacle just 
in front. It is best, therefore, to adopt a middle 
course and use a club which will effect a com- 
promise between the extremes. It is impossible 
to lav down fast rules. Of course, other things 
being equal, the more laid back the turo of a club 
the higher it will loft the ball ; and, on the whole, 
Stiff-shafted clubs do not seem to drive the ball as 



•ffmplements 33 

high as more supple-shafted ones. But one man 
will drive high in the air with a club with which 
another man will drive skimmers, and vice versa. 
The same man, even, will find himself at times 
driving high and at other times skimming his 
balls with the same club. Much, of course, de- 
pends on the quality of the turf. If the lies are 
hard the club will not get under the ball, and it 
is very difficult to get it well into the air. This 
is especially to be noticed at St. Andrews and 
Musselburgh, which are very hard, as compared 
with Prestwick, Westward Ho ! and Sandwich. 

Two sorts of wooden clubs are in vogue — 
stramht-faced clubs and bidders. The bul^e on 
the club gives it rather the appearance of having 
the face-ache, and its effect is that the ball is 
struck by a convex instead of by a plane surface. 
The merit of the convexity is that it makes it 
easier to drive straight. With the plane-faced 
clubs a ball struck on the heel had a tendency to 
curl away to the right of the intended line ; a ball 
struck on the toe had a tendency to curl to the 
left. Why this occurred we need not stop to in- 
quire — more especially as inquiries made at very 
great length and with much science have not re- 
ceived a very distinct answer. The inclination of 
the convexity in each case tends to correct the de- 
3 



34 <30lf 

viation, for the heel of the convex-faced clnb faces 
rather to the left of the intended line of flight, 
and the toe faces rather to the right of that line. 
Tims the direction of the face counteracts the 
spin which is put on the ball, and the latter flies 
fairly straight, though not so far as if struck truly 
on the most prominent point of the convexity. 

So the bulger is a good club for all who can be 
at all sure of hitting the ball somewhere near 
the middle of the face of the club — for straight- 
ness is an exceedingly valuable quality. But it 
is by no means so good a club for those to whom 
it happens but rarely — and there are such — to hit 
the ball nearly on the right place. The beginner 
will do better with a straight-faced club, lie 
can come to the bulger later on. 

Then we come to cleeks — for the bulger prin- 
ciple is as yet practically restricted to wooden 
clubs. Your cleek should be shorter, again, than 
your brassey, and stiifer in the shaft. Of cleek- 
heads there are a great many kinds — new inven- 
tions for the most part. The principle which 
these new inventions agree in endeavoring to 
carry out is to mass as much weight as possible 
on that part of the head wliich is directly behind 
tin' point <>t* its impact with the ball. In other 
words they aim at making the blade of the cleek 



Implements 35 

as thick as it can be made without disturbing the 
balance of weight. There can be little doubt 
that this is a good principle, and we cannot be 
far wrong in advising the golfer to choose his 
cleek-heads thick, and in other respects to suit 
his own fancy; always remembering that Avhat 
he gains in loft he will lose in distance, and vice 
versa, as we said when speaking of the bras- 
sey. 

For distances which are too short for the cleek, 
the iron is the club. There are many sorts of 
irons : such as driving irons, lofting irons and 
heavy irons, but for all practical purposes one 
iron is sufficient. It should be shorter in the 
shaft than the cleek, and the shaft should be 
stiffer. The head should be more lofted than 
the cleek-head. In this particular, again, we 
should advise the beginner to aim at a mean be- 
tween an extremely lofted head and an extremely 
straight-faced one. The latter will drive some- 
what further, and the greatly lofted one will 
pitch the ball rather deader ; but on the whole, 
and especially at first, it is best to aim at reduc- 
ing the number of clubs rather than exaggera- 
ting it. 

All the clubs which we have discussed, with 
the exception of the iron, and perhaps the baffy 



36 (Bolf 

spoon, are intended almost entirely for full shots 
— that is to say, for shots in which the full swing 
is used. But with the iron you will have to learn 
to play a regular gradation of strokes, with three- 
quarter, half and quarter swings, down to the 
little wrist stroke. For all these purposes an 
iron with medium loft is sufficient, as well as for 
the full swing strokes ; but, as we said before, it 
is quite possible that you may find yourself able 
to play most of these with a baffy — a short, stiff, 
much spooned wooden club — better than you can 
with an iron. In this, experience alone can be a 
safe guide. For the shorter strokes, of which we 
have spoken as usually played with an iron, 
many men use a mashie. The mashie is gener- 
ally rather shorter and stiffer than the iron. Its 
face is more laid back, so that it will pitch the 
ball more dead, and its face is exceedingly short 
— almost as short as the little round face of the 
niblick, between which and the iron the mashie is 
a kind of compromise. The mashie is a club of 
rather recent invention, and before it came into 
general use many players used the niblick as an 
approaching club where it was necessary to pitch 
the ball more dead than they could hope to pitch 
it with an iron. The trouble about this practise 
was that the face of the niblick was so dread- 



Implements 37 

fully small that it required great accuracy to hit 
the ball truly with it. If hit on what would 
have been the heel of the iron, the ball found no 
heel in the niblick, and flew off towards cover- 
point, off the hose of the niblick, with disastrous 
consequence. Therefore wise men invented the 
mashie. But even with the mashie it is all too 
easy, especially for the beginner, to hit the ball 
on the heel. The learner will probably do better 
to eschew its use, and to employ, instead — sup- 
posing that he finds he cannot play the short 
approaches with sufficiently dead loft off an 
ordinary iron — a much-laid-back approaching 
cleek. On some links these are a great deal used, 
under the name of jiggers. The shaft should be 
short and stiff and the head well laid back. 

The appropriate and painful function of the 
niblick is to get you out of a bunker, or very bad 
lie. Its head is so short that it will go into 
almost any hole or rut big enough to receive the 
ball, and in sand it meets with less resistance 
than the long-faced iron. Many players have 
ceased to carry a niblick, making a mashie do 
most of its duties. The niblick should be heavy 
in the head or should have the shaft very strong. 
Mr. Frank Fairlie has invented a method of ob- 
viating the trouble of occasionally hitting the 



38 (Bolt 

ball on the hose of these short-faced clubs. He 
has the hose coming' up from the rear of the "blade 
so that no ball can possibly meet it. We incline 
to think that this is a good invention for the be- 
ginner, though most players who have learned 
with the ordinary weapons will be frightened by 
the strange looks of the new patent. 

Certainly the list of clubs which we have given 
ought to suffice to bring any player on to the 
putting-green. He has now to use a putter with 
with which to get the ball into the hole. Of 
pullers there are two kinds — the wooden and 
the iron. The wooden putter has the wisdom of 
ages in its favor, for the general use of the iron 
putter is quite modern. A\ r e are inclined to think 
that the iron putter is perhaps the better weapon 
for putts up to twenty yards in length; "but cer- 
tainly the wooden putter is safer for the long 
putt. This matter of putting, however, is one 
for which it is even less possible to lay down a 
hard and fast rule than for any other part of the 
game. Men pull well with all manner of weapons 
and in all manner of altitudes — and in all atti- 
tudes and with all weapons men putt badly. 
One can but say this for certain, that the shaft 
of the putter, whether wooden putter or iron, 
should he without spring. Balance is a great 



implements 39 

quality in a putter, but one which it is quite im- 
possible to define or even to describe. An ex- 
perienced player will tell you in a moment, of 
any particular putter, whether it balances well. 
Surely, too, its face should be perpendicular — or 
very nearly so ; and beyond that there is little 
that one can say. 

To play golf one must have golf-balls ; and a 
good golf-ball is a very difficult thing to get. 
Excellence in balls may be viewed from two 
different points. The player who is engaged in 
important matches — or what he deems as such — 
is on the lookout for the ball that will enable 
him to play the best golf. The beginner is more 
concerned with finding out a ball which will re- 
sist his tops with the iron and various maltreat- 
ment. 

From these rather vague hints we must leave 
the beginner to cull what information he can. 
This, above all, is to be remembered — that no 
ball is good when it is new. If you buy balls new 
you should keep them— unpainted for choice — in 
a cool dark place for three months, then paint 
them, give the paint a month to dry, and go and 
try to play golf with them. If the paint be too 
old, or if too much drier be mixed with it, it will 
chip off with the jar of the striking. 



40 <3olf 



CHAPTER III 

EDUCATIONAL 

Golf is best learned by imitation, and since 
boys, being, I suppose, nearer akin to monkeys than 
they are when they grow up, are the most imi- 
tative of human creatures, it follows even from 
that that golf is best learned as a boy. Moreover, 
it is a great matter to get into the right way of 
doing athletic things while the muscles are grow- 
ing ; for then they seem to grow so that they can- 
not do it wrong. Unfortunately every one is not 
a boy, nor has every boy a good golfing model to 
imitate, or else perhaps it would not be so abso 
Intel v necessary to write precepts for a golfer's 
teaching. Further, no boy ever learns much out 
of a book, so that the following remarks must 
be considered to be intended for persons with 
common sense and a faculty for applying it. 

Golf— like all Gaul in Caesar's time — is divided 
into three parts — driving, iron-play and putting. 
Driving is the most pleasing part of the game, 
because the ball looks so delightful as it flies two 



Educational 41 

hundred yards without touching ground (that is 
with a wind behind), and there is a great sen- 
suous pleasure in hitting the ball truly with the 
driver. In old days it was rather the counsel for 
the beginner to abjure the driver and play with 
the cleek ; but this was before golfers were so 
numerous, or turf on golf links so scarce. The 
cleek, as an iron-headed club, cuts up more turf 
than a driver will do. Therefore, do not begin 
with a cleek, but begin with a modified form of 
wooden club, which shall resemble the cleek in 
being somewhat short and stiff. The resident 
club-maker will make you one, or a mid spoon 
will meet the purpose. Later, when, if ever, you 
acquire confidence and freedom, you may lengthen 
your driver, and so, presumably, your drive. 
One says presumably, for it is almost open to 
question, so slight is the increase in length of 
drive given by a longer club. Especially if the 
beginner has had the education of a cricketer 
will he find a shorter club more handy, for so it 
becomes more like a cricket-bat. Now, having 
hold of such a club as this, it is necessary to con- 
sider the proper position of the bail which you 
mean to strike with it — the proper position, that 
is, relatively to the striker. 

In order to get a definite starting-point, I would 



42 <3olf 

ask the learner to imagine the intended line of 
flight of the ball. As he stands in position to 
strike, a line drawn from the toes of one foot to 
the toes of the other should he, roughly speaking, 
parallel to this imaginary line of the intended 
flight of the ball. With regard to the distance 
which the ball should be from the striker a good 
measurement is to lay the club with its "heel" 
to the hall, and the end of the shaft should then 
just reach to the left knee when the striker stands 
upright. This, then, gives the manner of facing 
the ball and the distance of the hall from the 
striker. To determine its position relatively to 
the feet of the striker, a line drawn from the hall 
in such a way as to meet at right angles the line 
from the striker's left toes to his right toes should 
fall, say, four inches to right of his left toe. 
These directions will give all necessary adjust- 
ments, and it will he seen, by those who know, 
that in them we have advocated what seems to 
be a mean, avoiding, on the one hand, the ten- 
dency of Mr. J. E. Laidlay, who places his ball 
for the drive almost in advance — to the left— 
of his left foot, ami, on the other hand, the idio- 
syncrasy of Mr. Maelie, say, who plays with the 
ball not much to (he left of his right foot. Both 
these are very Jine players, but it would be more 



BCmcational 43 

true to say that they are so in spite of their 
peculiarities than by reason of them. In all hints 
for the learner we shall try to suggest the mean, 
merely naming the extremes between which, if 
anywhere, is perfection. 

The manner of gripping the club is the next 
subject for consideration ; for it is important, 
though we are disposed to think that many teach- 
ers over-rate its importance. One maxim may be 
laid down as a truism — that the beginner should 
grip more tightly with the left hand than with 
the right. Some finished players say that they 
grip equally tightly with both hands ; but then it 
is not to finished players that these remarks are 
addressed. Some players, again, hold the thumbs 
of both hands down along — not round — the club 
shaft ; others hold one thumb along and the other 
round ; others, again, hold both thumbs down. 
As before, the mean is perhaps the most advisable 
aim for the beginner. Let him hold the thumb 
of the right hand round and that of the left hand 
down along the leather. It will be seen that in 
this manner a stronger grip is obtained with the 
left hand than with the right, which is in itself a 
good thing, and, further, that the thumb of the 
left hand helps to control the direction of the 
swing — that is to say, the movements of the head 



44 <3olf 

of the club. Maybe it is possible to hit a little 
harder with both thumbs round the club, but it is 
of more importance to be accurate than to be 
powerful; and, again, it is possible, at iirst, to be 
a little more accurate with both thumbs along 
the grip, but it does not do to get cramped in 
seeking to be accurate. The mean is best. 

Now, you have hold of the club in the right 
way, and the ball is at the right distance from 
you, and your feet are in proper position relatively 
to each other and to the ball. Remember, now, 
that when you begin to strike the ball you do 
not want to be stiff, as if you had swallowed a 
poker and had rheumatism at every joint. Do 
not, therefore, tighten your joints ; let your 
knees be slightly bent, so, too, with your elbows 
and your back ; but, on the other hand, do not 
crook your limbs in the fashion of a dachshund, 
nor painfully bend your back over into the atti- 
tude of a croquet-hoop — for all these things are 
done. Let all the principal hinges of the body 
!><• slightly relaxed, but not elaborately crooked. 
If you are a well-made man — and every one sup- 
poses himself to be that — the most natural angle 
of these joints will most, likely be tin; least wrong. 
The bend of your right elbow will be a good deal 
affected by the manner of your grip with the 



Educational 45 

right hand. Many professional teachers insist 
on the right hand being forced over the club 
until the back of the hand is uppermost. Some 
pupils carry this to so great an extreme as to get 
in a short time something like scrivener's palsy 
in the right hand and arm. This is a pity. 
In moderation the turn over of the right hand 
is good, but it is a mistake to cripple oneself 
with it. 

The club should be laid to the ball in such a 
way that the middle line of the head — say, where 
the maker's name usually comes — shall be just 
opposite the ball. The sole of the club should be 
fair and flat on the ground — presuming the 
ground to be smooth — and the face of the club 
should be at right angles to the intended line of 
flight of the ball. Xow, if you are standing at 
all correctly you will find that the ball, your 
hands and your left eye are pretty much in the 
same vertical plane. Your hands should not be 
much pushed out from the body. A straight line 
drawn from your eye to the ball should pass high 
above them. Indeed, we think we may say that 
with almost all good players the upper arms, 
almost down to the elbows, are kept in gentle 
contact with the body. 

The method of all golfers — practically speaking 



40 <3olf 

— when about to drive is as follows : they walk 
up to the ball and stand to it, with reference to 
its intended line of flight, pretty much as we have 
indicated ; they rest the club for a moment on the 
ground behind the ball, so as to assure themselves 
of the distance, then they commence a little pre- 
liminary waggle of the club over the ball once or 
twice ; then they again rest the club behind the 
ball for a moment, and then they draw it up for 
the magnum opus — the heroic business of the 
" swing." This is the order to be observed ; and 
taking the various motions of the " address " in 
chronological order Ave have now arrived at the 
"waggle." The "waggle" has a use though it 
does not appear to have one. Its use is to en- 
courage the arms into a certain freedom of move- 
ment which they would be apt to miss if the club 
were drawn right away from the ball after its 
first rest behind it. Again, the "waggle" is a 
sort of trial cruise, or preliminary canter, for it 
suggests to the driver the proper direction of the 
swing by causing the club-head to move over the 
hall in little sections of almost the same areas 
the swing itself. The club-head should not be 
drawn more than two feet or so away from the 
b;ill in this preliminary flourish, nor he allowed 
to follow on for more than about that distance in 



jEDucational 47 

front of the ball. The waggle should be executed 
chiefly by the wrists, and above all it should be 
remembered that its great use is to assure the 
driver that his arms are moving freely while his 
body is planted firmly, though not stiffly, on the 
feet. The latter is a very important point. A 
good player's feet seem to grip the ground almost 
as if he were quadrumanous when he addresses 
himself to the ball. It needs no wizard to see 
that if there be any shiftiness or uncertainty in 
the stand the stroke must lose both in power and 
accuracy. So, when this " waggle " has been 
executed, following the line of flight of the swing 
(so near as may be, that is, considering that the 
club in the " waggle " has to pass to and fro above 
the ball), then the driver should again for a mo- 
ment rest the club behind the ball before raising 
it for the great effort to which all that has gone 
before is but preface. One great point to bear 
in mind is that the golfing stroke is a swing, and 
not a hit. The ball is to be swept away by the 
swift movement of the club — it is not a matter of 
driving at a dynamometer. It will at once be 
asked " What is the difference between a swing 
and a hit?" The difference that we mean to 
imply may be explained by saying that by swing 
we mean a motion which may be slow or may be 



48 <50lf 

fast, may be sometimes slow and sometimes 
fast, but changing its speed at a constant rate of 
acceleration or diminution. 

One of the great maxims of the old golfing sages 
was " slow back." You were told that the up- 
ward swing was to be very much slower than the 
downward swing. This is quite good advice, but 
the slowness of the upward swing must not be the 
slowness of a man " trying to catch a fly on his 
ear," as Sir Walter Simpson so happily puts it, 
Ko; the upward stroke must be a swing no less 
than the downward. It must be a swing, and it 
must not be a lift. The player should feel the 
weight of the club-head all the while that he is 
raising it. Further, there should be a sort of har- 
mony between the upward and downward swing. 
A man in whom practise in youth lias engendered 
confidence will bring the club on to the ball with 
a lightning speed which would lead a middle-aged 
learner into a horrible fiasco — this young man 
may seem to bring up his club very quickly, and 
indeed may actually do so ; but you may be quite 
sure that it is not a swift movement in com- 
parison with the speed of his downward swing — 
otherwise he would not be a fine driver. There 
must be a unity ; and the man who can but dare 
to hit slowly at the ball must make his upward 



^Educational 49 

swing slower again, or he will lose this unity. In 
point of fact the whole thing ought to be of a 
piece — the pace and vehemence of the " waggle " 
and the speed of the upward swing all regulated 
by the pace of movement which the player has it 
in his mind to give to the club-head at the mo- 
ment that the club-head meets the ball. But, it 
will be said, there is necessarily a pause at the 
top of a swing. That is so, but even this pause 
has a relation to the speed of the swing and is 
shorter where the swing is quicker. In this 
regard Ave find a striking contradictory instance 
in the person of David Brown who once Avon the 
championship at Musselburgh. His is a rather 
sIoav, wild SAving upward, Avith a tremendously 
long pause at the top. Noav David Brown is an 
exceedingly fine golfer, but his is not the driving 
style on which Ave should advise a learner, espe- 
cially a middle-aged one, to form himself. Here, 
as in above-named cases, he is a genius in spite, 
rather than by reason, of his eccentricities. The 
swing, then must be allowed " to finish itself out," 
as it is called, at the top before the club is brought 
doAvn again to the ball. Fly-fishers will best 
realize the full meaning of this counsel. Then 
may the club, tightly held in the left hand, and 
less tightly in the right, be brought doAvn Avith 



50 <3olf 

constantly but evenly accelerated force until the 
greatest speed which the player can control is 
given to it at the moment at which the face of the 
club meets the ball. 

So much, then, for the pace of the swing in its 
various movements. The direction of the swing- 
is the next point to study. A good fundamental 
principle to bear in mind is that the club-head 
should travel as long as possible, consistently with 
sufficient force, in the intended direction of the 
ball's flight. The correctness of this principle is 
almost self-evident, for it is clear that if fully 
acted on it will ensure the ball being correctly 
struck, and also will give the player a better 
chance of striking it correctly, because the club- 
head will thus be traveling for some little section 
of the swing in the direction in which it is pos- 
sible for it to meet the ball properly. The club- 
head must not be describing the arc of a circle at 
the moment of its meeting the ball — it must be 
traveling horizontally if it is to hit the ball 
fa iily, and the longer its course in this horizontal 
plane the longer is the space in which it may meet 
the ball fairly, [t gives more margin for a little 
error. This is, in fact, an application of the 
principle on which the young cricketer is in- 
structed to play forward " Prom wicket to wicket." 



Educational 51 

He then keeps his bat moving all the time in such 
a direction as will meet the ball fairly. 

The ffreat means of carrying into effect this 
principle in its application to golf is to let the 
arms swing well away out from the body as the 
club-head comes down. If the arms be kept in to 
the sides the ball will be sliced and bestruckwith 
a feeble, crooked blow. Now it is a maxim 
taught by all golfing experience that the down- 
ward swing is almost sure to be a repetition, in its 
direction, of the upward swing. If you are slicing 
your balls and ask a professional the reason, 
he will generally tell you that you are bringing 
the club up too straight. Of course, theoretically, 
it does not matter how vou are brinoino* the club 
up — what matters is how you are bringing it 
down. 

But the professional knows by experience, with- 
out having theorized about it, that if you bring up 
the club in a certain direction you will bring it 
down again in a similar direction : therefore he 
tells you to sweep it along the ground away from 
the ball as you take it back preparatory to bring- 
ing it down again. If you take a spot on the 
carpet and try bringing the club-head away from 
that spot as if it were the ball, you will find that 
unless you sway with your body, which you must 



52 <3olf 

not do, the only way that you can with any ease 
bring the club away from the ball in a direction 
which would be a backward prolongation of its 
intended line of flight is by letting your arms 
straighten themselves well out as you draw the 
club-head away. If you begin at once to bend 
your arms, the club-head will leave the ball in a 
direction slanting from this line ; and you may 
depend upon it that if you bring it away in this 
manner you will also bring it down again in a 
like manner. And this you must not do. By the 
time your club, in the upward swing, has gone to 
an angle of about 45 degrees with the plane of 
the horizon, your arms should be stretched out 
to their fullest. Then they must, of course, be 
allowed to bend to admit of the club being swung 
well back behind the head, and this series of ad- 
just incuts will naturally repeat themselves as you 
briii"- the club down again. AVedonot mean that 
you are to neglect the direction of the downward 
swine; altogether. It is useful to remember that 
your arms should again be at their fullest stretch 
when the club is again, on its descent, at the same 
angle of 45 degrees with the horizon; but if you 
can gel into thecorrect way of the upward swing 
von will find the reverse motions much simplified. 
At the top of the swing the club should be above 



^Educational 53 

the right shoulder and pointing away, behind 
your head, somewhat in the line in which you in- 
tend to drive the ball. Do not let the club strike 
or rest on your shoulder, nor swing it round so 
low as to be below your shoulder. To get the 
club into this position with any ease you will find 
that you have to allow the body to turn upon the 
hips, and also to allow the knee to bend inwards. 
Your shoulders will also of course turn upon the 
backbone, as if the backbone Avere a pivot on 
which they worked. "With, almost all fine drivers 
you will see that the left heel comes right off the 
ground and that they aid the turn of the body by 
rising on to the ball, or even on to the toes, of the 
left foot. But all these motions should rather 
follow the sAving, so as to enable it to be easilv 
performed, than be considered an integral part of 
it. They should go to help the swing, rather 
than to make it. If you find it easy and natural 
to raise your left heel thus off the ground, if at>u 
find that it is dragged off the ground, as one may 
say, in the motions of the swing, allow it to fol- 
low these motions ; but do not make an effort to 
take the heel off the ground in the hope of thus 
making the SAving longer and more correct. The 
same may be said of the bending in of the left 
knee and the turning of the body — these move- 



54 <3olf 

mcnts should be allowed to take place in propor- 
tion as the upward swing seems to demand it of 
them ; they should not be made in order to form 
the swing. 

In course of the upward swing the weight of 
the body is transferred from both legs — or, indeed, 
from the left leg, for this should bear most of the 
weight as you address the ball — on to the right 
leg, which supports almost the whole weight 
when your hands are at their highest above the 
shoulder. But this, again, should follow the 
swing naturally, and there should be no effort 
made to effect the change. 

But, it will be asked, how can this be done if 
the body is not allowed to sway I The true fact 
is that the lower part of the body does move in 
course of the upward swing from left to right, 
working on the hips; but the backbone at the 
shoulders must In 1 steady, or must move on its 
own axisonly, forall through the swing your head 
should hardly change its position at all, but must 
keep the eyes Looking steadfastly at the ball 
throughout. If you take your eves off the ball 
for a moment you will find it impossible to be 
accurate. Further, at the moment at which the 
club-head meets the bull your legs, body, hands, 
and all should be back again, for the fraction of 



BDucational 55 

an instant, in the position in which all were when 
you addressed yourself to the ball. For this is the 
use of the address, to show yourself the attitude 
in which yon wish all your muscles and your golf- 
club to be at the moment of striking. Therefore, 
it is well to have the upper vertebrae of the back- 
bone steady, as a sort of fixed point to help you 
back. 

Beginners, and even some who have played long 
enough to know better, have a habit of moving 
forward the right foot as they strike, or even of 
moving the left foot a little as thev swing back. 
It need scarcely be said that there can hardly be 
a more fatal habit. It must diminish accuracy, 
and can give no compensation in the way of added 
power. 

But even after you have contrived to bring 
down the club so as to hit the ball as described, 
there is a further word to be said about the direc- 
tion in which the club-head should travel. Not 
only should it travel before striking the ball in 
the direction which would be a backward prolonga- 
tion of the intended line of flight of the ball, but 
even after the ball has been struck it should 
follow on as far and as straight as possible after 
it. And this, again, you will find can best be 
done (indeed, can scarcely otherwise be done, 



56 <30lf 

except by swaying of the whole body, which is 
still unadvisable) by letting the arms again fly 
out straight as if they, too, were wishing to 
follow the ball. In fact, we may put the precept 
very roughly, but practically, in this form — to let 
the arms swing as far as conveniently may be 
from the bodv all through the swing, both before 
the ball is struck and after. It is evident that if 
you are to keep your eye on the ball throughout 
(and this you must do) your left upper arm must 
not swing up high, so that the elbow should come 
before your face. You must be able to look over 
it at the ball. 

In these instructions we have tried to give brief 
reasons as we went along. We may now shortly 
epitomize the most important pieces of advice. 
Stand steadily on your feet. Let the swing be a 
harmony, the up-swing more slow than the down- 
swing, hut in a, certain relation to it. Keep your 
eye on the hall ; let your arms swing well away 
out from the body as you draw the club hack 
from the hall, and similarly as it comes down to 
the hall and after it has struck it, Grasp more 
tightly with your left hand than with the right. 
Lei unessential motions, such as lifting the heel 
of the left foot off the ground and heading the 
left knee, follow the swing rather than be con 



^Educational 57 

sciously made a part of it. Do not try to hit 
with so much force — that is to say, speed — as 
to be unable to control the direction of the club- 
head. 

'When you first begin you will learn more by 
trying to get this swing correctly without a ball 
than you will with one. Practise at daisies on a 
lawn, but, if possible, always have a good golfer 
looking on to tell you of any faults. Then, when 
you begin hitting at the ball, you will naturally 
reproduce the swing without having to think 
about all its details. 

If you want to get on } T ou must be thoughtful. 
Golf is not to be learned without an effort. If 
you have made a bad start, try to think where 
the error was, and have a few trial swings at a 
daisy to correct it. Equally, if you have made 
an unusually good one, try to reproduce it, so as 
to fix in your mind and muscles the means by 
which you achieved it. There is really much 
more fun and satisfaction to be got out of the 
game if } T ou take it up in this earnest way than if 
you go at it in a slap-dash fashion. You will im- 
prove so much faster. Golf altogether is as much 
a matter of character and temperament as of eye 
and muscle. 

But do not study the details so much as to lose 



58 Golf 

all sense of freedom. Keep the direction of the 
swing right, and keep your eye on the ball — these 
are the two big things you have to think of. 
Other details are less important, and may be 
taken up as } r ou find you are going wrong in 
them. Do not sway your body is a third maxim 
of first-rate importance, and if you transgress 
none of these three you cannot long go far 
wrong. 

Still, you will always find, even when you have 
got the swing beautifully, in the absence of the 
ball, that it becomes a different thing when the 
gutta-percha takes the place of the daisy. You 
will then find yourself irresistibly tempted to hit 
— not to stick to the easy swing. Often, too, 
without understanding your malady, you will 
find that you are in a very bad case, and more often 
than not an experienced player, watching you, 
will tell you that your eye is not on the ball. It 
seems as if it ought to be easy to look at the ball, 
hut experience shows us how difficult it is. Look- 
ing away from the ball is a sin which the best 
players commit at times. Remember, too, that 
it is not on the top that you wish to strike the 
ball, but on the hinder side. Keep your eye, 
therefore, on the spot which you wish the face of 
the club to meet. 



JE&ucatfonal 59 

Of the professional or amateur teachers to 
whom you may appeal, you will lind that some 
are very much more helpful than others. An 
amateur will rarely do you much good. He is 
generally rather intent on his own game, and 
gives you but little attention. But the profes- 
sional you will pay to give you attention, so you 
have a right to expect it. But do not let him 
come out with clubs and balls, or, at least, let 
him confine himself to one club and one ball*, with 
which he may set you good examples from time 
to time. But on .no account, at first, endeavor 
to play a match with him ; for, if you do, it is 
clearly absurd to expect him to take as much in- 
terest in your game as in his ; and it is in your 
game that you want him to take exclusive in- 
terest. It is by no means always the best play- 
ers, whether professionals or amateurs, who will 
give us the best advice, any more than it is the 
healthiest man who is the best doctor. Some 
have a peculiar talent for seeing what is wrong. 
Moreover, a man who is fairly familiar with your 
play is likely to be better able to detect the 
causes of your aberrations than another. lie is 
in a position analogous to that of the familj r 
doctor who has been conversant with your con- 
stitution since your infancy. A clever teacher 



CO (Bolt 

will not try to teach you a too exact imitation of 
his own style, but will be intelligent enough to 
see how far his methods are suited to your 
muscles and shape. 

But all success in golf is not to the driver. 
There are other matters for your study. Thus 
far we have spoken chiefly with reference to the 
simple full swing. This swing has to be used 
with certain modifications when driving with or 
against a strong wind, or when the lie is bad or 
sloping. The ball which the beginner finds easiest 
of all to hit is, perhaps, the ball which lies up-hill 
— i. <?., on a slope which tends upwards in the 
direction of the intended line of the drive. The 
ball which chiefly bothers the uninitiated is the 
ball which lies "hanging," i. c, on a slope tend- 
ing downward in the direction of the drive. The 
great thing to remember when this practical 
problem is before you is that the head of the club 
has to travel over the surface of the sloping 
ground as if (he ground were flat. The direction 
of the swing urns' suit itself to the incline of the 
ground. Therefore it appears that the club-head 
must be traveling somewhat downward when it 
meets a hanging ball. The result is to hit the 
ball rather downward. This j s undesirable, and 
tin- best way out of the difficulty is to use a rather 



Bfcucational 61 

spooned club. Most beginners recognize this ; 
but what they cannot bring themselves to recog- 
nize is that they must allow the spoon on the club 
to do the raising of the ball. They find it very 
hard to get it out of their heads that they have to 
do some remarkable gymnastic or conjuring feat 
with their wrists in order to lift the ball. If they 
would but be content to simplify the stroke, play- 
ing it as if the ball lay level, except that the club- 
head is made to travel downward rather, as it 
hits the ball, so as to adapt its direction to that 
of the ground, then they would astonish them- 
selves by the ease with which they played the 
stroke which before had seemed so difficult. In 
golf, as in most arts, the simplest means are the 
best. You should try to make the game as easy 
for yourself as possible. 

The same rule applies to driving down and 
against the wind. Of course, down wind you 
wish to drive high — against the wind you wish to 
drive low. Going down wind, then, tee the ball 
high on rather rising ground — then the club, travel- 
ing over the surface of the ground, will be rising 
as it meets the ball and will naturally drive it 
high. Against the wind tee low, and, preferably, 
on a slight downward incline. Of course there 
are other methods. When the ball is lying with 



62 <3olf. 

a hill in front, the skilful player will slice it some- 
what with an inward draw of the hands, so that 
the ball may rise quickly and so clear the hill. 
Or if he wishes to keep the ball low, when the 
wind is against and there is no high obstacle to 
clear, he will bring his hands forward to the left 
of his body — thereby turning the face of the club 
rather downward, and thus driving a wind-cheat- 
ing skimmer. But these are niceties which the 
beginner will pick up as he goes along, and had 
better not bother himself by studying. 

But there is a modification of the full swing 
which it behooves him to learn early, it is so con- 
stantly useful, and that is the jerking stroke from 
a bad lie. The essence of this stroke is that the 
club-head is traveling downward somewhat at the 
moment at which it strikes the ball. But it is not 
traveling downward in order — as when the ball 
lay hanging — to travel on over the surface of the 
ground after meeting the ball, but in order that 
it shall not be arrested by the lip of the cup in 
which the ball is lying. The club-head has to nip 
in between this lij> and the ball; and in order to 
do this it must be traveling rather in a downward 

direction. It, then goes on into the ground, cut- 
ting up a lid of turf and being rather arrested 
with a jerk in the ground —whence its name. 



JEDucattonal 63 

Note this — the reason of its name — and do not be 
misled into the idea that there has been any 
jerkiness in the motions of the swing. The swing 
has to be as truly a swing, and with as even mo- 
tions, until the ball is struck, as in the ordinary 
drive. It is only in the meeting of the club and 
ground that the jerk occurs. Therefore all the 
rules which were laid down for the full swim* 1 

o 

apply to the swing for this jerking shot equally. 
Your arms may even be allowed to go away after 
the ball, just as in that other stroke, in spite of 
the jerk of the club in the ground. It is true your 
right foot may with advantage be a little more 
advanced, because so you are better able to bring 
the club straightly down upon the ball ; and you 
may, perhaps, grip somewhat tighter with your 
right hand. But remember you do not want to 
see how straight down you can bring the club. 
Your aim should rather be the reverse, to see how 
much you can sweep the club-head along the 
ground — in the manner recommended for the 
drive — consistently with getting it to strike fair 
on the ball without spending the greater part of 
its force on the lip of the cup. The best practical 
maxim is to hit in as much the manner in which 
you would hit a teed ball as possible, considering 
the lie of the ball. 



04 <3olf 

This stroke, it is very plain, requires great 
accuracy. The club-head has just to clear the lip 
of the cup and yet not to hit the ball on the top. 
It is, therefore, more necessary in this stroke 
than in any other to keep the eye firmly on the 
ball all through the swing — and not merely to 
keep the eye "on the ball," which would seem to 
mean on the top of the ball, but on that exact 
spot on the ball which we hope will be the point 
of impact. 

It so often happens that the iron clubs are 
used out of bad lies that many good players 
are in the habit of jerking, in this manner, all 
their iron shots. Most find themselves able to hit 
the ball straighter and with more control, and 
certainly quite as far, in this method. But we 
also see very fine iron players who hit the ball 
clean, without jerking, so we may leave it as a 
matter of taste without dispute. 

You will generally find that the shorter the 
club which a good player has in his hand the more 
will his right foot be advanced and the more will 
he be gripping the club with his right hand. In 
the methods of the majority of St. Andrews pro- 
fessionals this is so. The shorter the club in their 
hand and the shorter the stroke to he played, the 
nearer does the right toot come to the ball until, 



Educational C5 

in the case of the late Young Tommy Morris, one 
used to wonder that his putter did not sometimes 
hit his right toe. 

"We may leave the beginner to apply, as best 
he may, these instructions for the full swing 
(whether carried smoothly through or checked by 
jerking in the ground) to all the full swings shots, 
whether with driver, brassey, cleek, iron, baffy, 
or mashie ; but it will be well to give him another 
position for the three-quarter shot with • the 
iron — and this position for the three-quarter shot 
will serve him, with modifications, for the half 
shot, quarter shot, wrist shot and even, if it so 
please him, for the putt. For convenience it will 
be as well to say at once that what we mean by 
the three-quarter shot is the shot which is re- 
quired at such a distance that the player's full 
iron shot would carry him just a little too far. 
The difference in swing between a full shot and a 
three-quarter shot we may say to be that, whereas 
in the full shot the left shoulder swings down and 
round on the backbone for a pivot, in the three- 
quarter shot the shoulders practically do not turn 
at all. It is a stroke played almost entirely with 
the arms and with movements of the lower parts 
of the body — the legs and hips. Of course the 
shoulders are not rigid ; they give with the other 
5 



ce> Golf 

motions, but they do not take a very actively en- 
ergetic part. (We do not insist on this as the 
only correct or possible definition of the three- 
quarter stroke, but we find it convenient to adopt 
it, and think that it fairly describes the stroke 
ordinarily so named.) 

The feet should be nearer together than in the 
full swing, and the right foot should be rather in 
advance of the left — by which we mean that a 
line drawn from the toe of the left foot to the toe 
of the right foot, and towards the player's right, 
would soon meet a prolongation backward of the 
proposed lino of flight of the ball. The ball also 
should be not so much towards the player's left 
as was recommended for the driving stroke, but 
about midway between the feet, and, for choice, 
rather nearer the right foot. The club may be 
gripped rather tighter with the right hand than 
was advised for the drive; and, with these differ- 
ences, the stroke may be allowed to be very sim- 
ilar. The club should be brought away from the 
ball well along the ground, the anus being allowed 
t<> go out pretty straight. Again, the upward 
part of the sv. ing must be in a certain harmonious 
relation, with regard to its speed, to the down- 
ward part. Again, it must be allowed to swing 
itself out behind the back, like the line of the lly 



BOucatfcmal 67- 

fisher, before being brought back ; and, again, the 
turn of the body at the hips, the knuckling in of 
the left knee, and the rising off the left heel must 
be allowed to follow the swing of the arms rather 
than be made actively to encourage it. Again, 
the eye must be kept well on the ball and the 
arms be sent out after the ball is struck. So, in 
all this, the three-quarter stroke bears great re- 
semblance to the full drive — why, then, should it 
be so difficult? 

For it is fairly generally admitted that this is 
the most difficult of all golfing strokes — the dis- 
tance most generally abhorred even by good 
players. We are inclined to think that a fre- 
quent reason of failure is in the peculiar difficulty 
of letting the upward swing, in this stroke, finish 
itself well out before the downward swing is 
commenced. The shoulders are not working 
freely, but are kept rather stiff and taut ; and 
this, we are inclined to think, disposes the player 
to hurry back just a little — to give a little jerky 
twitch which disturbs the smoothness and ac- 
curacy of aim. Therefore, our advice to the 
beginner would be to take note of this danger, 
and be forewarned against it, and be particularly 
careful in this three-quarter shot to let the up- 
ward swing finish itself well out. 



OS <Bolf 

Young Tommy Morris used to say that many 
amateurs found it peculiarly difficult to keep 
their eye on the ball when playing iron shots 
because the glittering face of the iron attracted 
their unpractised eyes to follow it when it left 
the ball. Make this again, then, a special matter 
of study — that you keep your eye steadfastly on 
the ball in your iron shots and in all your ap- 
proach shots. Some players go so far as to leave 
the faces of their irons all unpolished, that there 
may be no evilly -attractive glitter ; but this is 
an extreme measure, and is a confession of weak- 
ness which ought to be overcome. 

Nearly all the professionals play their approach 
iron shots with a jerk — that is to say, the club- 
head goes on down into the ground and cuts out 
a divot. The divot which the professional cuts 
out is generally a solid slab, and if it is replaced 
with care will do little damage to the turf in its 
ordinary condition. Far more harmful are those 
little scrapes off of the grass which the duffer 
makes in missing the shots which he intends to 
take clean. These bruise and scatter the roots ; 
the other is generally in the nature of a clean cut 
which goes beneath the roots. 

lint, our object in mentioning this idiosyncrasy 
of the majority of professional players is to assure 



jEDucational 69 

the beginner that there is no magic virtue in thus 
cutting up the divot. This is a needful warning, 
for we have actually heard a beginner, who was 
intent on this sincerest form of flattery of the 
professional, say proudly : " It is a poor shot, but 
I don't care ; I cut out the divot." 

As if that mattered ! The professional does 
not care a bit about cutting out the turf ; his ob- 
ject was to get near the hole, and it so happened 
that the jerking method was the way in which 
he was accustomed to play the approach stroke. 
But in all probability the amateur who did not 
begin to play golf as a boy will find that trying 
to jerk the ball adds greatly to the difficulty of 
the stroke. For him it will appear infinitely 
easier to take the ball clean. On every account, 
therefore, he ought to do so ; both because he 
will so make better strokes, and also because he 
will not do nearly so much damage to the green. 
But if the beginner finds the approach stroke 
with the iron, however he tries to play it, of great 
difficulty, by all means let him try whether he 
can do better with a baffy, or wooden spoon. 
There is nothing illegal or morally disgraceful, 
as modern golfers seem inclined to think, about 
approaching with a Avooden club ; and, in fact, 
many very fine players of the old school used to 



TO <3olf 

approach with nothing but wood. Only here 
and there — once in a round, perhaps — will a 
stroke present itself to you which a spooned 
wooden club will not accomplish ; in such a case, 
say, as is presented by a bunker immediately be- 
fore the hole and hazardous ground beyond it. 
Here the wooden club will, perhaps, hardly land 
you dead enough, you will need a laid-back iron 
or a mashie. 

Some years ago there was a great prejudice 
against clubs much laid back. They were con- 
sidered very uncertain, and in most cases men 
tried to stop the ball dead by putting cut upon 
it, by means of drawing the head of the iron 
across the ball at the moment of impact. Many 
good players, especially professionals, use this 
stroke now, but with most players it is being 
superseded by the use of much-lofted clubs — 
mashies, light irons, or approaching cleeks. We 
are inclined to think that of all these the ap- 
proaching cleek is the most easy for the beginner 
to play with. Tt seems to look at the ball in 
a more straightforward, simple way than the 
mashies and irons, whose faces always seem to 
present themselves ;it, somewhat of an angle to 
the direction in which the ball ought to go ; in a 
word, it seems easier to play straight with them. 



^Educational 71 

The raashie is, of course, rather a dangerous tool 
in the hands of a tyro, because it has so small a 
face. There is but little margin for error. 

Nevertheless, despite this word in favor of the 
approaching cleek, the iron is, of course, the or- 
thodox and recognized weapon with which to ap- 
proach the hole. When the distance is less than 
that for which the three-quarter stroke is used, it 
is commonly called a half-shot distance. Xow, it 
must be said that the three-quarter, half, quarter 
and wrist shots are on a nicely graduated scale, 
so that a man could hardly say with certainty at 
what distance one leaves off and another begins. 
So, too, with the strokes — a man could hardly tell 
you whether, on a certain occasion, he were play- 
ing a three-quarter or a half shot. The names 
are rather arbitrary, and do not correspond to 
any very clearly-defined differences ; but roughly 
we may differentiate the strokes as follows : — 
When you are just a little too near the hole for 
the three-quarter stroke, you will use the half 
shot. The half shot is played similarly to the 
three-quarter shot, save that it is executed by the 
arms working from the elbow-joints only. Other 
motions, such as the turning in of the left knee 
and rising on the ball of the left foot, do but fol- 
low on in such a way as not to check the motions 



72 Golf 

of the fore-arms, which are the active agents of 
the swing. In the quarter shot — a shorter dis- 
tance again — little part is taken in the swing by 
the arms above the wrists. This is, in fact, a 
wrist-stroke ; but it may be distinguished from 
the wrist-stroke proper by the fact that the mo- 
tions of the lower limbs are allowed, as before, to 
follow the swing ; whereas the strict wrist-stroke 
may be said to be one in which the player is 
practically motionless, save for his hands and 
wrists, with which alone the stroke is played. 
This last, therefore, is only useful for a very short 
loft. 

But these distinctions, as Ave have said, are 
quite arbitrary — it is open for any other to define 
the strokes differently — but we do believe that it 
will be of service to the learner to be conscious 
of some more or less definite difference in the 
methods for playing strokes of these different 
Lengths, otherwise he will be all too apt to play 
them with a kind of small section of the full 
swing, quite without method, and so be little 
likely to improve. 

The shorter the stroke, the nearer the ball the 

player should stand, and for veiy short strokes 
many players are in the habit of shortening their 
grip on the club -in some cases lowering the 



^Educational 73 

right hand even below the leather of the handle. 
It is well, too, as the distance becomes shorter, to 
have the ball more to the right — nearer the right 
toe. Where the problem is to pitch the ball very 
dead, it will be found that this- may be best solved 
by holding the club rather loosely in the hand — ■ 
the looser the better, always provided you are 
able to combine the looseness with accuracy. A 
rather straight up and down swing will also tend 
to make the ball go high and to fall dead on 
alighting. 

The methods for putting cut on the ball are so 
very difficult, both of description and of execu- 
tion, that we prefer to leave the beginner with 
the much-lofted club in his hand, or to recom- 
mend to him oral and practical instruction from a 
professional player. JMoreover, by the time he is 
thinking of such niceties he will be rather beyond 
the " beginner class." 

There remain but two clubs in the set whose 
use we have not touched on — the niblick and the 
putter. As the former is the least palatable sub- 
ject, let us first dispose of it. The niblick, as no 
one can play golf long without learning, is de- 
signed for getting you out of a bunker. Whether 
it is well designed for the purpose it has occurred 
to many to doubt, but that is chiefly by reason 



74 Golf 

of their own misuse of it. If you are in a whin, 
or in very heavy grass, the getting out presents 
no special features. You have to hit the ball a 
heavy, brutal blow which shall rend away all 
obstacles. " Get well under the ball " exhausts 
nearly all the professional coach's advice in such 
straits. But a frequent case in which the niblick 
is called in is that of a ball lying in the sand of a 
bunker and with the bunker cliff before it. The 
method of treatment suitable for this stroke differs 
from the method of all other strokes ; for in this 
case } r ou must not endeavor to hit the ball, but to 
hit downward into the sand some two inches or 
so behind the ball. The precise distance behind 
must depend on the nature of the sand. If the 
sand be very light you can afford to hit quite 
three inches behind the ball. Or if the sand be 
very heavy you will hare to hit into it not more 
than one inch behind the ball. Of course, in the 
former case — of very loose sand — yon will be able 
to loft the ball much more perpendicularly — you 
will be able to get so much better under it. If 
ilif ball is lying hard, a very moderate bunker 
cliff will be an insurmountable obstacle. 

It is not at all easy to hit just the right distance 
behind the hall, and the only way to he at all 
certain of the stroke is to keep your eye fixed 



jEDucatlonat 75 

not on the ball itself but on the exact spot behind 
the ball which you propose for cleavage by your 
niblick. This sounds very simple, but in reality 
it is very difficult ; for it is to be hoped you will 
have become pretty well accustomed to looking 
at the ball when you prepare to strike it ; and you 
will certainly find that the force of habit makes 
it very hard for you not to lift your eye from the 
little speck of sand and transfer it to the ball. 
To realize the difficulty is the best help towards 
overcoming it. 

Thus, in coarse of time, you may hope to reach 
the putting-green, or, if but on the edge of the 
green, you may run the ball up with the putter, 
or with the iron laid with its face over so as to 
push the ball along the surface of the ground. 
For this is a useful stroke to learn, the hands 
are brought well forward to the player's left ; 
the ball is opposite his right toe, so that the face 
of the iron becomes almost upright as it meets 
the ball. Then, with stiff wrists, the club is 
pushed out, along the ground, away from the ball 
and dragged forward again, still with stiff wrists, 
with a slow, pushing stroke somewhat like a 
slow forward stroke at cricket. This stroke is 
often useful when there is some rough ground to 
go over just before the ball, and then a clear run 



76 (Bolt 

up to the hole. But if the ground be level and 
clear of hazards all the way, there is no better 
club than a wooden putter. Even if the ground 
be rough there is scarcely a better club, if the 
roughness consist of small, ill-defined hummocks ; 
for in this case it is impossible to know on which 
side of a hummock a lofted shot will pitch. If 
the ball pitch on the up-hill it will stop dead, 
but if it pitch on the down-hill it will run like a 
hare. Therefore, on ground of this nature, unless 
there be beyond it a fairly level spot on which 
your lofted approach may light, a putter is better, 
because you can strike a rough average of the 
bumps which your ball is likely to get and regulate 
the strength accordingly. A wooden putter is 
better for the long putt and for the putt over rough 
ground than the iron putter, because the latter 
seems to keep the ball closer to the ground and 
makes it so much the more liable to kicks and 
ill-treatment. But this same quality of the iron 
putter seems to m;tkc it the more desirable weapon 
when you are near the hole or on a very true 
green ; for the close grip of the ground which it 
Seems to give the bull makes the hitler all the 
more likely to go into the hole if it come across 
it when going rather si rong. 
And, in fact, we set; many players use a wooden 



]£C>ucattonal 77 

putter for their long putts and an iron one for 
holing out. But all this is in a great measure a 
matter of fancy and of confidence, as is all put- 
ting. Some men play quite long approach putts 
with iron putters, and play them very well ; but 
it would appear that for approaching over rough 
ground with the iron putter it is best to hold the 
club rather lightly in the grip. Then the ball 
runs more boundingly and with less of the tight 
hold of the ground. 

But of all putting, even more than of the rest 
of the game, it is true that the great difficulty is 
to hit the ball correctly ; and the great secret for 
hitting the ball correctly is to keep the eye on 
the ball. AYe fancy that few golfers realize how 
easy it is to miss-hit a putt. The results are not 
so glaring as in the case of a missed drive, but 
we are only the more likely, on that account, to 
go on with our missing and say that our " eye is 
out," or that we are " bilious," when really the 
trouble is that we do not realize that we are con- 
tinually topping, heeling or teeing our putts. 
Evidence to confirm this will be seen in the fact 
that a man who is quite off his putting with his 
usual putter will often take another club and 
find himself putting quite well with it. Why is 
this ? Simply because with the unfamiliar weapon 



78 Golf 

he unconsciously feels a greater difficulty in hit 
ting the ball true, and to effect this gets his errant 
eye back to the ball again. 

But he should on no account quarrel with the 
result because he has found out the reason. By 
all means let him go on putting with the club lie 
can play with best. The magic will have gone 
from it in a day or two. Let him enjoy the 
novelty while he may. It is always good to have 
au alternative putting Aveapon — a second string 
when the first is out of tune. 

Of putting there are as many styles as there 
are golfers, almost. Men putt badly in all styles 
and well in all styles. A few general maxims 
will suffice on a point on which it is so impossible 
to dogmatize. The best putters have seemed to 
us to draw the putter well back from the ball 
before striking it, so that they have hit a smooth 
blow without jerk. A great thing is to find out 
the position in which it is most easy for you to 
make the putter travel straight as it hits the ball 
■ — not in too much of a circle. Bring your putter 
home, and study out this problem on the lines 
of the carpet or of the boards of the floor. It 
will not be wasted time. Imagine the ball to be 
on a certain spol on the line, and try to see how 
you can most easily get the putter-head working 



BDucational 79 

along the line both to right and left of the spot. 
If the putter -head is moving straight when it 
meets the ball, the ball will not go crooked. 

Unfortunately you do not have a line marked 
like this on the putting-green, but it is a good 
plan to take a line, looking from behind the ball, 
with your face towards the hole, and select a 
daisy or a salient blade of grass, and make up 
your mind that if you can get the ball to go over 
that you will be in. If you have an index of this 
kind near your ball you will find it less disturb- 
ing to glance at it in adjusting your aim than 
to be continually looking up at the comparatively 
far-off hole. Bat in your approach-putts we 
would advise you not to be over-careful in study- 
ing your direction, but to get as right as possible 
the much more important matter of strength. 
In putts of ten yards or over, golfers err much 
more often in the matter of strength than of 
direction. Finally, remember the maxim which 
should ever be on the putter's lips, " Be up." 



SO <30lf 



CHAPTER IY. 

LINKS. 

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews 
is surely a line-sounding name ; yet it is not one 
whit too sonorous a title. Royal, St. Andrews is, 
for kings and princes have golfed — indifferently — 
upon its green ; and ancient, because men, royal 
and otherwise, golfed there before they began to 
make history. Still, despite the growth of South' 
ern golf, we look to St. Andrews with pious ven* 
cration as the alma mater, the fountain head of 
golfing life and inspiration. 

She is an austere parent — one might wish her a 
few more fountains — for her soil is very hard and 
\ci-y much cut up by the irons of her ungrate- 
ful children, who arc all too careless about 
the replacing of the turf. Also the links abound 
in small braes or grassy faces in the center of the 
course; and if you Lie close behind one of these 

your tale is worse than that of the wild knight- 
errant who has wandered into the " fog " on eithei 
side. This quality of hardness of soil, which St 



Xfnfts 81 

Andrews shares with Musselburgh, and which is 
due, one may suppose, to a considerable admix- 
ture of clay with the sand of the links' soil, is very 
vexing to a player who has been brought up on 
the softer turf of Prestwick, Westward Ho! or 
Sandwich. It is not the best quality, in our opin- 
ion, for golf ; yet we may bless the golfer's patron 
saint that the St Andrews turf is thus constituted, 
for otherwise the whole links would be a Sahara, 
They would never stand the enormous amount of 
play which goes on upon them were they of any 
softer consistency. Nevertheless, St. Andrews, 
with every drawback, has noble links still ; they 
are so long — a joy to the long driver. There are 
none of those tremendous carries from the lie 
which are the feature of Sandwich ; but the holes 
are laid out so cunningly, at just the ideal distances 
apart, that an indifferent drive is almost as badly 
punished, though it may lie well, as a similar drive 
at Sandwich which ends in bunker. For unless the 
first drive be a good one, it happens at nearly every 
hole that the player will find himself a stroke to 
the bad because he has not made himself for get- 
ting up to the putting-green with his second ; or 
in the case of the long hole, both of outgoing 
and homecoming, with his third. This is a merit 
which St. Andrews possesses beyond any other 



82 Golf 

links which we know, and it is a merit which those 
whose duty it is to lay out links should fully recog- 
nize and strive to imitate. Far too many holes do 
we see on most links which are of that most 
wretched length — a drive and an iron shot, or two 
drives and an iron shot. This is a wretched length, 
because it admits of a bad shot going un-penalized. 
The man who has baffed his drive has but to take 
a longer club for his next shot than the oppo- 
nent who has hit a line one ; and both may be 
on the green in the same number. But at St. 
Andrews it is hardly ever so. Two really good 
shots will put the fine driver upon the green, 
while the opponent, who lias slightly missed one 
or other shot, will be some forty yards from the 
hole, and will need an heroic effort to get down 
In less than three more, while the two faultless 
drives leave this feat within the range of practi- 
cal and simple politics. 

This, we are inclined to think, is the trans cend- 
ant beauty of St. Andrews. Moreover, most of 
the holes are remarkably well guarded by bunkers, 
and bunkers of a \<tv fair sort ; for they are deep 
and rather hard at the bottom, so that it almost 
always happens that they exact the penalty of 
one stroke in the getting out. But they very sel- 
dom exact more, unless the niblick shot be a bad 



OUnfts 83 

one, for the lies in them are never desperate. 
Most of these bunkers are more or less in the mid- 
dle of the course and close around the hole ; but 
there is not an unfair shot on the course. There 
is always good lying — barring the misadventure 
of lying behind a brae or in an iron-skelp, which 
is, more or less, of the machinations of the evil one 
— if the bail be well and straightly struck. On the 
first and last five holes the putting-greens are very 
fine, and of those towards the end of the course 
we may say that, considering the amount of play, 
it is wonderful that they are no worse. Many 
object to the St. Andrews bunkers that they are 
sunken and do not show themselves to the player 
at the tee; but you will need to be exceptionally 
fortunate if a few rounds do not make you fairly 
acquainted with their whereabouts. Some of the 
holes are on little plateaus, with banks towards 
you ; and since the turf is so hard that a ball pitch- 
ing on the greens can hardly be made tc stay 
there, the " running up " stroke with the iron is a 
very useful mode of approach to cultivate. 

The links are in the form of a shepherd's crook, 
with the handle turned towards St. Andrews. 
The eighth and ninth holes are on the short bend 
of the crook, towards the town, and the tenth and 
eleventh on the short bend away from the cathe- 



84 <3olf 

dral city. Then, all the way home you have the 
town revealing to yon tower after tower of its 
fine buildings and noble ruins, which are given 
you as landmarks in the navigating directions of 
your caddie. From the great play upon it the 
green is wide, the whins which used to hem in the 
course having become so trodden away that it re- 
quires some skill in going off the line to find them. 
Yet, still, the round is not done in small numbers. 
The medal has never been won in less than 82 
strokes ; and though Hugh Kirkaldy has been 
round in 73, and his brother, Andrew, in 74, these 
are the deeds of heroes and not of ordinary men. 
Bight across Scotland, on the west, is another 
very famous links, and very different from St. 
Andrews ; Frestwick, in Ayrshire. Frestwick 
golf is different from St. Andrews golf. The soil 
is softer — it is the real links sand, with a fine 
carpet of turf. Frestwick is a private course, 
belonging to the members of the club; audits 
privacy is its salvation, for it could never carry 
on its existence under the amount of play which 
St. Andrews with difficulty survives. Prestwick, 
in old days, was but a twelve-hole course, but 
they were twelve of the best — some say the very 
best —that could be found anywhere. Great big 
bunkers and undulating sand hills to carry, with 



Xinfts 85 

holes in dells and punch-bowls amongst the hills 
were its characteristics in those days ; and these 
it still keeps. But, further, it has added other 
holes " beyond the wall," which are, for the most 
part, flat, with a streamlet menacing the crooked 
driver. But betwixt two level pastures runs a 
portentous ridge of sand hills, appropriately named 
the " Himalayas," over which the golfer must 
drive his ball or pay fearful penalties. On the 
homeward journey the perils of mountains are 
enhanced by the stream which courses along their 
feet, and which is then on the far-side of the 
mountain from 3^011. It takes a really good drive 
to carry both Himalayas and burn. It is, of course, 
possible to get into the burn on your outgoing 
shot over the mountain ; but this can only be done 
by the worst of " tops," for you tee on the very 
brink of the stream. The Cardinal's Xob is 
perhaps the most famous of the great bunkers, 
and probably it has cost more strokes than any 
other bunker into which a golfer has ever got. 
For, besides being deep and broad, it is palisaded 
with boarding to keep the edges perpendicular. 
Above all, it does not present itself as a hazard to 
be carried from the tee — that is, on its outo-oins: 
and more terrible aspect, but as a crux for the 
second shot. 2sow, many men top the ball from 



86 <3olf 

the tee, but more top it from the place which it 
goes to after the tee shot. Therefore, we again 
affirm it, more men get into the Cardinal's Xob, 
compared with the number who try to get over 
it, than into any other bunker in the world. No 
one who has played at Prestwick will fail to as- 
sociate his golf on these links with the excitement 
of running up one of the great hills to see how 
near the ball lias rolled to the hole which is 
known to be in the hollow just over the hill. And 
the joy of finding that your own ball has rolled 
down dead, while your adversary's has stuck upon 
the hill-side, is quite ecstatic. The scenery from 
these hill-tops is less beautiful than the sight we 
have just conjured up, but only a little less. 
Theiv is Arran in thedistance, and all the beauties 
of the Clyde estuary nearer at hand ; but, needless 
to say, the golfer does not look at them. In the 
dim distance is the Mull of Cantire, on which is 
a. noble golf-links. Machrehanish is its name, and 
its natural golfing features are second to none; 
but as it is as hard to get to as its name is to spell 
or to pronounce, its golfers are comparatively 

few. But nearer there are the beautiful links of 

Troon, and it makes anice changefrom Prestwiek 
to play the first nine of the Presl wick holes, then 

to walk half-a-inile across the bents to the end 



Xinks 87 

hole of Troon, and finish your eighteen there. 
Then lunch at Troon, and play back in reverse 
fashion in the afternoon. Even in Arran, as well 
as in the " adjacent islands of Great Britain and 
Ireland," there is a golf-links now ; and there is 
one as far north as Kirkwall, in the Orkneys. 

But of greater golf-links there are Dornoch, 
Montrose, and Carnoustie — the last perhaps the 
best, if the former-named will pardon our saying 
it. If St. Andrews and Prestwick were put 
together and then divided, you would get a 
result much like Carnoustie. Its characteris- 
tics are in the mean between the characteristics 
of the other two, save that its soil is, if anything, 
lighter than Prestwick. North Berwick deserves 
a high place among Scottish links, though it is 
too short to be first-class ; but what there is of 
it is so charming. There are eighteen holes, and 
almost all of them are little ones, but the chances 
of misadventure are infinite in number and 
variety. There are stone walls, fir woods, the 
sea, the rocks, a turnip-field, a quarry, a walled 
garden, bathing machines, perambulators, nurse- 
maids, and a horrid place just below Point Garry 
which they call the bear pit. Besides these, 
there are plenty of bunkers proper — so that when 
all these things are put into smalL space the result 
must be sporting. Finally, the putting-greens are 



SS Golf 

very good, and the islands dotted in the sea make 
the scenery always delightful. 

Though Musselburgh has never had more than 
nine holes, they are nine good ones ; though, Ave 
fear, less good than they used to he. It is so 
near Edinburgh, and Edinburgh is the home of 
many a golfer. The whins are trodden away, 
almost to vanishing point ; but the bunkers, in- 
cluding the famous Pandy, are as formidable. as 
ever. A great deal of very good golf is played 
at Musselburgh even now. It is, moreover, one 
of the greens on which the Open Championship 
used to be played — St. Andrews and Prestwick 
being the others. But the Honorable Company 
of Edinburgh Golfers has now removed and 
taken the Open Championship with it, from 
Musselburgh to Muirfield, further down the Forth, 
where its members will find liner turf and fewer 
golfers. All this Forth coast is golf-links. Luff- 
ness is remarkably fine, and Gullane scarcely less 
so. Near North Berwick is Archierfield, and now 
Muirfield is laid under the golfer's requisition too. 

And so we may Leave Scotland, with many 
apologies to the many noble links of which Lack 
of space obliges us to refrain from speaking. 

Blackheath, the oldest of all English Golf Clubs 

indeed, the club whose legends go further back 



Xfnfts 80 

than even those of the Royal and Ancient — is 
not all that its traditions seem to promise. There 
are seven very long holes, but the soil is flinty, 
the lies are not good, roads are the chief hazards, 
and unsympathetic passers-by are ubiquitous. 

Wimbledon is still, Ave think, the best course 
near London, despite the growth of Chorley 
Wood, Tooting, Mitcham and all the rest. At 
Wimbledon there are real whins, a real pond and 
real reward for good play. The lies are not all 
that one could wish, but the putting-greens are 
sometimes very fair ; and the beauty of those 
birch-clad ravines over which we have to drive, 
and of the surrounding distance, mellowed by the 
suburban fog, are scarcely to be matched on links 
much more remote from the metropolis. 

Guildford is good, too, but this is further away 
and the golfer who can go so far as Guildford 
may perhaps be able to spare the time to seek 
some of the excellent seaside links of which Eng- 
land now has a number. 

From Blackheath the love of golf spread first 
to Westward Ho ! — and what links can beat 
Westward Ho ! — in the beauty of its lies, its in- 
definitely large putting-greens, its tremendous 
bunkers, its horribly sharp rushes I There is the 
true seaside links turf in its finest quality. Xo 



90 <3olf 

where in the world do men so often take the 
driver for the second shot ; you always lie teed. 
The Westward Ho ! course used to begin from 
beside the old iron hut, planted amongst the 
boulders of the pebble ridge which protected it 
from the thundering sea. But now the course 
starts on the hither side of that common, known 
as the Northern Burrows, on which Amyas Leigh 
played — but did not play golf. So the first tee 
is handier, and nearer the golfer's home ; and if 
the first three holes be flat, they are not without 
such incidents as a burn to receive the gross top, 
and ditches and rushes in small patches to punish 
subsequent inaccuracy. Then we come to the 
region of big bunkers and long carries and assegai- 
like bundles of rushes. Finishing out the round, 
by way of the flat country, the approach to the 
last hole is exceedingly fine, for the green is just 
beyond a stream, somewhat too stagnant to merit 
its name of burn, but planted so as to try the 
nerves of the approacher most, shrewdly. But 
the great glory of the links are the lies, which 
are everywhere so fine; and it has this additional 
feature, that whereas on many a links it is suf- 
ficient to drive far and straight, at Westward 
Hoi you will often I'm i yourself driving for a 
particular spot. You must know how far you 



Xinfcs 91 

are going, as well as how straight. As a school 
of golf this is its great value. 

From Westward Ho ! Liverpool men conceived 
the idea they might play golf at Hoylake. Here- 
tofore it had, perhaps, seemed scarcely right — al- 
most sacrilegious — to the many Scotsmen in 
Liverpool to think of golf south of the Tweed. 
But Hoy lake soon flourished. There are none of 
the mighty carries there for which Westward 
Ho ! was then so famous, though in that matter 
its glory has been eclipsed by that of Sandwich. 
But Hoylake is a course which makes the erratic 
player pay fearful penalties. Above everything 
he must be straight. Then he is rewarded by 
reaching, in due course, a putting-green which is 
not to be matched anywhere. For years the put- 
ting-greens at Hoylake have been a marvel ; and 
now that the links are extended in among: the 
Western sand-hills, they are no longer to be called 
flat, or without incident, even by the sourest 
ca viler. That men can learn fine golf at Hoy- 
lake, Messrs. Johnnie Ball and Hilton have proved 
to us. 

But if one has heard it said of Hoylake, before 
its extension, that it lacked variety and incident, 
this complaint can, by no means, be laid to the 
charge of another great English golf-links, Sand- 



93 <3olt 

wioh. Here Ave find bunkers on a colossal scale ; 
a green committee, too, who are disposed to give 
these bunkers their full value by putting the tees 
far, far back — too far back, some say — so that 
only the fine drives of the fine driver will carry 
them. This is the links for the strong man de- 
lighting in his strength ; for though there be 
by-ways among the bunkers, marked by blue 
flags, for the shorter driver, Ave have found our 
hearts full of pity for this poor man when we 
noted the doubtful nature of his path. But, 
after all, avIio, in his heart of hearts, really 
belieA T es himself to be a short driver? All go 
for the long carries, and enjoy the struggle. 
Sandwich is not Paradise, however; there are 
bad places in it. One or two holes down by the 
seaside are poor tilings, and the lies " foggy." 
But, on the whole, it is a noble course, and the 
putting-greens all the more to the credit of its 
promoters that so many of the greens are arti- 
ficial. The Maiden, a hole which m;iy be reached 
in one, if that one clear a really mountainous 
bunker cliff, is perhaps the gem of the course. 
Bui Hades, a somewhat similar, though not 
quite so awful, hole, is line, too. These are fas- 
cinating, but for real golf we are inclined to 
think the fourteenth is, perhaps, the finest. It is 



Xfnfes 93 

long — three good shots will reach it, and for 
each shot there is a hazard to carry. A brook 
awaits a missed second shot, and there is a bun- 
ker just before the hole. The seventeenth, again, 
is a beautiful hole, reminding one of the seven- 
teenth at Prestwick. The second shot carries 
you into a great dell among the hills, and you 
pant to their summits to see how near the hole 
your ball has rolled. 

In point of seniority, Bembridge, in the Isle of 
Wight, is before Sandwich. Bembridge is very 
good, but it is very little. There are but nine 
holes, none of them are very long, and the course 
criss-crosses like a cat's-cradle. But what there 
is of Bembridge is so very good. The lies are 
good, the putting-greens are good ; when there 
are not too many golfers, there is scarcely a bet- 
ter place for golf. When the links are at all 
•crowded you are far safer in a French duel, or 
even in a London crossing. 

Norfolk has good golf-links. There is Great 
Yarmouth, and the golf at Great Yarmouth is of 
very fine quality — good sandy turf, fine putting- 
greens, menacing bunkers. No man can return a 
good score at Great Yarmouth without playing 
real good golf, and it is the full eighteen holes in 
length. 



94 (Bolt 

A little further north is Cromer — again good 
golf, though not so good. But better than Cromer, 
and perhaps better than Great Yarmouth even, is 
Braneaster. The Brancaster links are a new dis- 
covery, but they promise very great things; and, 
though so little has been done to the ground, it 
possesses such natural capabilities for golf that 
the promise has already begun to fulfil itsel f. Even 
now the Brancaster Club has played a match with 
Cambridge University, and defeated the Cantabs. 

The Cantabs have a strong golfing team. They 
beat Oxford with ease. But both Universities are 
to be pitied for the quality of their links. 

The mention of all the good golf-links in Eng- 
land and Scotland would (ill a chapter with their 
bare names. Alnmouth is good, so are Blundell- 
sands, Lytham, St. Anne's and a host more. But 
in Scotland we have not even named Leven, Elie 
and Earlsferry ; so we will leave others with an 
apology that space does not allow our speaking of 
their merits, and see what the layer-out of a new 
links should have in his mental vision when lie 
begins his hard task. 

Much, <>f course, depends on the quality of the 
ground and of the hazards. Difficulties divide 
themselves generally into too much growth or too 
little. The most common problem is, perhaps, to 



%ink6 95 

get rid of whins. They must be cut down and 
the stubs kept flush with the ground, if they are 
not rooted up. The human foot is a great clear- 
ing agent, and so is the golfing niblick. If doubt- 
ful whether to spare a whin or to uproot it, err 
rather on the side of leaving it. Your golfer will 
soon clear whins so throughly away, in grubbing 
after his ball and in efforts to hit it, that you are 
soon likely to repent that you did not leave him 
more of it to do. Your links are apt to become 
too easy. But in j T our clearing or your sparing 
you should exercise discretion. Try to arrange 
matters so that there shall be some hazard for the 
teed shot to carry ; and this achieved, give the 
successful driver his reward — give him a reason- 
able-sized clear space to lie on. The more hazards 
you give him to right and to left the better, but 
the straight course may also be too narrow. The 
race-course at Wimbledon is far too narrow for 
erring humanity. 

Neither must you make the carry too severely 
long, for there are drivers and drivers, and a moder- 
ate player ought to have a reasonable chance of 
carrying the obstacle if he hits a fair ball. Fail- 
ing this, you should give him some bye-way, by 
which he may stealthily circumvent the hazard, 
though for this pusillanimity it is only fair that 



9G <30lf 

he should pay some penalty in distance. Of course 
all this applies equally to the second shot. It, 
too, should, if possible, have some hazardous risks, 
but it again should have its reward if it surmounts 
these risks successfully. 

It is a great thing to have your holes well 
guarded with hazards on the hither and farther 
sides and round about them. Of course few holes 
are thus completely circumvallated, but you should 
keep this principle well in mind, for the hazards 
will call out the skill of the approaches And all 
this applies equally to hazards of every nature, 
from whins and sand bunkers down to rough rank 
grass. Often vou may take advantage of a wall 
or road in the absence of more legitimate golfing 
difficulties. Sometimes you may be driven to 
invent hazards, by throwing up banks, cutting 
bunkers or planting bushes. The last is always 
an unsatisfactory method. Good golfing soil is 
seldom good for vegetation. It will always be 
necessary to fence round the growing plantation ; 
and that which it has taken two years to grow, a 
very few golfers will destroy in a fortnight. If 
you have to throwup banks it is best to leave 
broken the ground from which you cut them and 
throw the bank up on the further side from the 
Thus the ground itself becomes 



Xinfcs 97 

part of the hazard. Do not throw your banks 
straight across the course, but in a sinuous curve, 
for so they are much better golfing hazards and 
much more pleasing artistically. Build the bank 
pretty wide, so as to give it solidity, and make 
the side from which the player will approach it 
steep, the other side sloping. Of course you will 
turf it — on the sloping side at all events — other- 
wise it will soon crumble away. If the angle of 
the bank is so steep that the new turfs will not 
lie on it, skewer them in with wooden stakes, after 
beating them firmly down with the flat of a shovel. 
But on many links the trouble is that the turf 
is too light and sandy, without sufficient vegeta- 
tion to hold it together. This o-ives bad lies and 
makes it liable to be cut up ver} T easily. There 
is a peculiar kind of grass seed useful for sandy 
soil of which Mr. Tom Morris, at St. Andrews, 
has the secret — though perhaps he shares it with 
Mr. Sutton, of Heading. It is not very satisfac- 
tory, however. It is said to grow, but birds eat 
it or golfers hack it up, and there is little re- 
sult. It is far better to mend your sand with 
clay. Get some road scrapings — they are the 
best things in the world for this friable soil, for 
they are clayey and full of grass seed, and the 
Local Board will generally give them to you for 
7 



98 (3olf 

the carting away. Spread this road scraping 
thinly over the sand and the result is sure to be 
good. If possible do this while the scrapings are 
damp and rather muddy, and when you think 
there is rain coming — there is generally rain com- 
ing. Then, if you sow ordinary grass seed on 
this, you will give the soil a better chance. 

Too much rolling is a mistake. On some in- 
land links we have seen the putting-greens rolled 
so much that the watery mud had been squeezed 
out of the ground and had dried in a thin cake 
all over the green. This makes a horrid surface 
for putting. You want grass on your putting- 
greens, as much of it as you can get, but as short 
as possible. If the grass on your putting-greens 
is coarse and rank, sea sand sprinkled on it will do 
much to fine it down. But for all sorts of coarse- 
ness and tuftiness of turf there is no amelioration 
equal to the human foot. A dozen men playing 
golf for a week over a rough common will make 
a difference such as no one who has not seen it 
could believe. Some few soils may be too tender 
to bear the trampling — may be so sandy that even 
the flat of the foot will tear and bruise the roots. 
Bu1 on farthe most qualities of turf the tread- 
ing of feel has a consolidating: effect which no roll- 
ing can equal. There comes a time when turf 



Xmfes 99 

may grow to be too solid — too hard. In this 
condition it is what is termed root-bound. The 
surface is packed so tight that the young- blades 
cannot get through it. Then it becomes neces- 
sary to give the turf a rest, to water it well, and 
to prise it up, without breaking the surface al- 
together, with a long-pronged fork — not a dinner 
fork, but an agricultural instrument. This 
loosens the mold around the roots, giving them 
fresh room to expand and so to put forth vigor- 
ous young blades, which will then begin to push 
up through the surface thus loosened. The signs 
of this root-bound condition are a thinness and a 
general yellowness of the grass, as if it were 
parched by a drought, combined with great hard- 
ness of soil. Putting-greens on which there is 
much walking are especially liable to this com- 
plaint. 

In the laying out of your putting-greens you 
should endeavor to have a space, clear of haz- 
ards, of the size of at least forty yards in diam- 
eter. The holes should be shifted a yard or 
two whenever the turf immediately around them 
appears too much worn or whenever the sides of 
the holes themselves are at all broken. Sections 
of iron cylinders let into the holes will preserve 
their shape much longer than if they were with- 



100 <30lf 

out this support; but on no account should the 
rim of the iron be above, or indeed quite flush 
with, the edges of the holes, otherwise it will 
tend to keep out a well played putt. The best 
irons of all for the holes are those which have a 
cross bar with a hole in it for the flag which shall 
mark the hole. For the flag, without this sup- 
port, keeps falling over against the edges of the 
holes and wearing them away. Any of the 
shops which supply golfing requisites should 
be able to furnish you with such irons ; or they 
may easily be made, on your description, by a 
a blacksmith. 

The teeing grounds should be marked with 
whitewash, or, preferably, with discs of white- 
washed tin with a long nail let through them to 
keep them in the ground. We think the discs 
are preferable because they can be easily re- 
moved, whereas the old whitewash marks are apt 
to cause confusion as to the new tee. The tees, 
like the putting-greens, should be changed when- 
ever the ground becomes at all worn. 

Your teeing grounds should be as level as pos- 
sible, and never hanging — i.e., sloping in the direc- 
tion in which the shot has to be played from 
them. On the other hand a little undulation in 
the putting-greens is desirable, and this should bo 



Xfnfts 101 

borne in mind if at any time you have to level your 
greens. All small knobs should be leveled down. 
This is best done by making incisions in their 
turf in the form of a cross, and laving back the 
edges of the turf while the soil is scooped out 
from under them with a trowel or with the hand. 
Then let the edges of the turf be rolled back in 
place again, and you will have a much less serious 
wound than tf you had taken the turf bodily off 
and replaced it. 

Finally, bear in mind in arranging the length 
of your holes, that great merit of St. Andrews, 
where one or two or three full shots, respectively, 
will land the player upon the green, while he 
who has at all failed in any shot, will be playing 
the odds with an iron approach shot. 



102 oott 



CHAPTER V 

G0LEEMS AND STYLES 

Nothing is so likely to make the tyro golfer 
skeptical of the value of that mysterious quality 
named ' ; style" us a survey of the practises of 
those who have preceded him across the pons 
(isi, torn in, of golf. They play in such various 
systems and there seems so little relation between 
their styles and their success. Doubtless wisdom 
is justified of all her children — there is nothing 
to be said to them provided they succeed. Butit 
does not follow from their combining success with 
eccentricity that they arc successful because they 
are eccentric. Rather it is in spite of their eccen- 
tricity. And on a more careful study the tyro 
will observe a family likeness between them all 
- namely that they have the club moving in the 
right direction at tin; moment of its impact 
with the ball — and it is in this that their inherit- 
ance of wisdom consists. With this point in 
common their individual differences are great. 



Goiters anO Stales 103 

Man is a very mimetic animal. The highest 
development of man is the golfer, and in the 
mimetic quality he excels ; wherein he resembles 
his forefather the ape. For see how the stamp 
of individual golfers of genius has impressed itself 
upon the general golf of the locality in which 
the genius flourished. The St. Andrews swing, 
even of to-day, still bears the sign manual of poor 
young " Tommy Morris," though it is many years 
since his splendid golling powers were seen on 
any links. The line swing of Mr. John Ball, 
junior, finds manifold reproductions in many 
golfers in the neighborhood of Iloylake. Mr. 
Laicllay has inspired a multitude of disciples with 
the letter, if not with the spirit, of that strange 
style of his — so entirely "off the left leg" — 
with which he achieves such brilliant results. 

" Young Tommy " was a player of the most 
fascinating freedom of swing. It is sad, indeed, 
that we can no longer see the great original ; but 
all that slashing elan which every youthful St. 
Andrews driver exhibits to-day is an inheritance 
bequeathed by him. Mr. John Ball's character- 
istics are great firmness of stance upon the feet, 
and a gripping of the club with the right hand 
reaching far under, which is a contravention of 
prescribed rules, but which seems, with him, to 



104 <3olf 

give marvelous power of control over the ball 
His balls start away low from the club with a 
whirr like a rocket ; then they rise toward the 
end of their flight, often with a slight pull from 
the right, and fall, after a great carry, nearly 
dead. There are longer drivers than l\Ir. John 
Ball, though few have a longer "carry"; but 
this low ball of his is a beauty in the wind, and 
it is an ideal stroke for driving the ball up to the 
hole and landing it upon the green. Mr. Laid- 
lay's great merit is the approach shot. lie is 
marvelously correct with all his iron clubs. In 
all his strokes he has the ball farther towards his 
left, as he addresses it — almost, indeed, to the left 
of his left foot — than any other good golfer. 
Over and over again, to the despair of his oppo- 
nent, will lie land himself from somewhere well 
oil" the green — often from a most dim cult lie — 
close lxside the hole. And very often, when he 
has thus Laid his ball on the green, will he hole a 
Long, stealing putt, grasping his putter very low 
down and bending forward to the ball — as if he 
were reaching out to play forward to a rather 
short-pitched one ;it cricket — until his back is 
nearly horizontal. 

Long driving is a very great, feature of the 
»f golf to-day. By the trampling feet of 



Goiters ano Stales ]05 

many golfers courses have been widened — the 
hazardous, rough ground on either side has been 
worn smooth — so that length has come to be of 
greater value than the straightness, which was 
all-important on the narrower links of the past. 
Allan Robertson, that great giant of the game in 
the days that are gone, was no gigantic driver. 
It was his accuracy, combined with his imperturb- 
able sang-froid, that pulled him through victori- 
ous in so many fights. The same Avas the great 
merit of those renowned amateur players, Ad- 
miral Maitland Dougal and Mr. George Glennie, 
of whom the former, one stormy afternoon, once 
won the St. Andrews medal after having been 
one of the lifeboat's crew which, in the morning, 
rescued the survivors from a shipwrecked vessel. 
Mr. Glennie's score of S8 was for many years 
the record for the St. Andrews medal on that 
straighter course on which the old golfers used to 
play. In those days the chief competitors were, 
perhaps, Mr. Hodge, Colonel Boothby and Mr. 
Gilbert Mitchell Innes, to the last named of whom 
especial credit is due for the excellence of his 
game, seeing that he took up golf only when his 
days of discretion had been reached. His is a 
peculiarly quiet and easy swing, which picks up 
the ball with wonderful cleanness. The late Sir 



106 <30lf 

Robert Hay was a beautiful player of the sani6 
school ; and the finished skill with which he used 
the now almost discarded " baffy " was a proverb. 
There were many other notable players of like 
stamp whose game bore impress of the same fact 
— that accuracy and science were vastly more 
valuable than mere length of driving. They com- 
bined, perhaps, the " far " with the " sure, 1 ' but it 
was the " sure " which they made their especial 
study. 

After Mr. George Glennie came Mr. William 
Mure, record breaking with an 85 for the medal 
round. Then, in 1883, Mr. Alexander Stuart set 
a seal upon the date of the year by winning the 
medal in the self-same figures — 83. His is a long, 
smooth, even swing, which the learner will do 
well to set himself to imitate, and it has received 
the sanction of many successes. On the very day 
on which Mr. Stuart, did this record, Mr. Leslie 
Balfour, starting earlier, had done the round in 
85, and was hailed as the prospective winner. 
But though Mi-. Stuart had the better of him this 
once, ;is often again, Mr. Balfour has had a lion's 
share of medal wins and a golfing career in every 
way remarkable. In the Amateur Championship 
Competition of L892 lie was all even and one to 
play with Mr. Hall, the ultimate winner ; and in 



Golfers ano Stales 107 

the same year we see him captaining the Scottish 
cricket team at Lord's. His is a very fine style 
of driving* — more strong and firm upon the legs 
than Mr. Stuart's. By a merciful dispensation 
he sometimes misses a short putt. 

Often in the fore-front at St. Andrews, and 
elsewhere, is Mr. Mure Fergusson. His is a 
strong, powerful game — muscular and determined. 
All these are of the long-driving class — yet even 
these are not what we should term the slashers. 
For these, among amateurs, we must look more 
especially perhaps to the families of Goff and 
Blackwell, one of the last-named of whom, Mr. 
Edward Blackwell, is, surely, the very longest 
driver in the world. It is told of him that he 
once drove past the long hole in two, both com- 
ing in and going out, on the same day. It is 
worth going to St. Andrews to see him drive — 
that is if he is there ; for he is oftener in Cali- 
fornia. His physique combines immense strength 
and suppleness, and his swing is so magnificent 
that he seems to get into the ball every ounce of 
this tremendous power. Nor is he, by any means, 
erratic in his drives. Some years back, before he 
went to America, he played two matches, against 
Mr. Laid lay and Jack Simpson respectively. Both 
the latter were at the top of their game, at tho 



108 Oolt 

time, bat Mr. Black well defeated them both with 
ease, entirely by virtue of his enormous driving. 
Willie Campbell was carrying for Mr. Laidlay, 
and expressed himself as fairly amazed. Mr. 
Blackwell's " carry " was said habitually to land 
him beyond the spot at which Mr. Laidlay's ball 
stopped running; and Mr. Black well hits rather 
a running ball; nor is Mr. Laidlay, by any man- 
ner of means, a short driver. Jack Simpson fared 
not a whit better at his hands. Both were over- 
whelmed by the distance by which they were 
out-driven. 

It would, perhaps, be a near thing in a driving 
match between Mr. Blackwell and Douglas Hol- 
land, Holland's "carry" is enormous — quite as 
long, probably, as even Mr. Blackwell's ; but wo 
are inclined to think that Holland's ball does not 
run so far. Still he is a huge driver — of very 
powerful physique, and hitting the ball with a 
rather slow, but very strong, body blow Our 
meaning is that lie swings his body upon the ball 
rather more than do the majority of line drivers. 
Rolland is green-keeper now on a Southern links, 
but lie learned liis golf at Elie and Earlsferry, in 
company with the great family of professional 
golfers— the Simpsons. Jack Simpson was 
champion one year, and has a very line stylo in- 



Golfers ano Stales 109 

deed at golf. AYe remember that Mr. Everard 
somewhere speaks of him as having the finest 
swing of any man who ever played golf. Mr. 
Everard is, of course, speaking of those who have 
come within his personal ken ; but his experience 
of golf is a long and very wide one. Mr. Everard's 
own game is an example of what great results 
persistent resolution can produce out of a style 
which is certainly the reverse of promising. Mr. 
Everard did not take seriously to golf very early — 
rather he interested himself in tennis and cricket ; 
but he is a St. Andrews medalist, and has won 
man}^ distinctions in many places. 

One of the easiest and most elegant, as it cer- 
tainly is one of the most effective, styles that 
modern golf can show us is that of Harry Yardon, 
a native of Jersey, who learned his golf on the 
excellent links in that Island, and is now ensrafired 
on the Ganton course, near Scarborough. He 
won the Championship of 1S96-T in a sensational 
manner, tieing with J. II. Taylor, who had been 
champion of both the preceding years, and beat- 
ing him, after a fine fight, in playing off for de- 
cision. A quiet ease is the characteristic of 
Yardon's driving swing ; he never seems to force 
the stroke at all, and yet one is fairly astonished 
at the distance that the ball is driven bv these 



110 <3olf 

seeming easy means. And when one takes 
Yardon's club in hand, the wonder is only in- 
creased. It is shorter and lighter than the aver- 
age — we have said that Yardon's style of stroke 
is an easy, quiet one — and we have to seek the 
explanation of the length of its driving in the 
perfect exactness with which the player strike's 
every ball. The motions of the golfing swing 
make up an effect of great beauty as he displays 
them, lie has a fine long approach up to the 
hole, too, with a heavy driving mashie, using it 
with a half swing. 

The great antagonist whom he defeated so gal- 
lantly, and with such fine nerve, for the Cham- 
pionship, has a xevy different style. Squareness 
and strength, one would say, are its characteris- 
tics. Taylor is, himself, a squarely-built, very 
strong young fellow. lie plays every shot with 
his right foot a good deal in advance of the left 
— almost as if every shot were a half iron shot. 
His swing is not a very long one, and he seems to 
get the power from the great strength of his fore- 
arm. His driving, at the time of his double win 
of tin; ( ihampionship, when he was in better form 
than we have since seen him, was notable for its 
wonderful straightness and a, uniformly low tra- 
jectory that was wry useful on a windy day. 



Golfers ano Stales 111 

Straightness rather than great length (though he 
is sufficiently long) has always been the feature 
of Taylor's driving. But if his game was note- 
worthy for this straigbtness of drive, the straight- 
ness, the accurate judgment and the dead loft of 
his mashie approaches were yet more remarkable. 
It was these qualities that Avon him his champion- 
ships even more than the accuracy of his long 
game, and he has studied and worked out a special 
method of mashie play, which he confidently be- 
lieves to be the secret of his success. 

Yarclon's clubs when he won the Championship, 
and drove really very far all the while, were un- 
usually short and light, and from this circum- 
stance a fashion set in, which is still in vogue, of 
short driving clubs. Savers, who used to play 
with a club hugely long in comparison with his 
height, has shortened it down very much, drives 
just as far as ever he did, and a deal steadier. 
More lately again, Taylor, Yardon's victim in 
this tie for the Championship, has followed his 
conqueror's lead, and he, too, is playing with short 
clubs now. Many others, both professional and 
amateur, have adopted the same plan, so that clubs 
generally are shorter and also lighter, than was 
the case six or seven years ago. 

One of our largest drivers and very best players 



112 Golf 

is James Braid, engaged at present at Romford, 
in Essex. Braid learned his £*olf on the nei<rh- 
bor links of Leven and Elie, winch are noted for 
the long drivers — Holland, and Simpsons, etc. — 
that they have sent out into the golfing world. 
Braid, who is a cousin to Rolland, is as long as 
any of them, and perhaps the best player of them 
all. At the Championship Meeting of 1897-8, he 
was second only to Mr. Hilton, and only a stroke 
behind him on the four rounds played. Since 
that championship he has been playing in wonder- 
fully good form, and has had the better of almost 
all that have met him. His is a long, loose, not 
strikingly graceful style, but its power is terrific, 
and he is as sure with all his short clubs as he is 
far with his long ones. There is no club in his 
set that he does not handle like a master. 

But the pride of the whole professional class at 
the moment of writing — that is to say, shortly 
before the Championship Meeting of 1898-9 — has 
been la-ought low by the great victory of Mr. 
Hilton in that meeting at Hoylake in which Braid 
came second to him. It is a sufficiently great 
lr.ii for an Amateur to have won the Open 
Championship at all ; but Mr. Hilton lias won it 
twice. No other amateur except Mr. Ball has 
ever won it, and Mr. Ball has only won it once. 



Colters ano Stales 113 

Curiously enough Mr. Hilton has never won the 
Amateur Championship, but his greatest strength 
has generally been shown in score play rather 
than in matches by holes. Mr. Hilton, it scarcely 
need be said is a past master in all departments 
of the game. He has always been a remarkably 
good short game player, and lately he has added 
many yards to the length of his driving, which 
was all that was wanted to put him at all points 
equal with the best. He has a way of playing 
his approaches straight up to the hole, without 
any curve in the air, which scarcely any other 
player except Taylor and very few besides have 
achieved. In addition to this he has one or two 
shots rather peculiar to himself, notably a half 
shot with the brassie, which he often uses with 
deadly effect. Of his driving style the chief 
characteristic is its fine finish, the way in which 
he lets his body turn right round to help in the 
follow on, while the club comes right back over 
the left shoulder. But temperament seems to 
have as much to do, as the muscular adjustments, 
with Mr. Hilton's success. He is always good- 
tempered and cheery in good and evil fortune 
alike, never losing heart and never being fright- 
ened by the excellence of a good score. 

There is but one golfer who has really taken 



1U <3olf 

any change at all out of Braid since he ran up so 
well for the championship, and this is that stub- 
born good match player Andrew Kirkaldy, and 
this was only in an eighteen-hole match that they 
pLrved at Mitcham. Andrew is the eldest of the 
three brothers, of whom poor young Hugh, the 
ex-champion, is no more. The latter's style was 
most fascinating to watch, long, free and fearless. 
Andrew has not the same delightful style — his is 
a stronger, more squarely-built figure, and his 
swing, accordingly, is shorter. But he gets a very 
long ball with this short swing, and in the shorter 
approaches is more than a match for his brother 
at his best. Hugh's great faculty lay in playing 
his full shots, full drives, right up beside the hole. 
No man, probably, lias so often holed in two 
from long distances, but from 80 yards, down- 
wards, Andrew has probably much more often 
holed in two. It is in match play that Andrew 
Kirkaldy has shown his chief strength. Unlike 
Mr. Hilton, of whom we have just been speaking, 
Kirkaldy seems at his best in the play by holes, 
whereas "Mr. Hilton's greatest triumphs have 
been in scoring play. One of those with whom 
Kirkaldy played, and won a great match, was 
Willie Park, a player of delightfully easy style, 
with which, nevertheless, he drives a long ball. 



Golfers ano Stales 115 

Park has twice been champion ; but Kirkaldy 
beat him in a long match. At the moment of 
writing Park is purported to have issued a bold 
challenge offering to play any man in the world 
for £100, his only condition being that the match 
shall be played on a seaside green. It will be in- 
teresting if his old enemy, Kirkaldy, takes him 
up. But as a matter of fact Kirkaldy, for the 
moment, has another job on his hands, arising out 
of a brave challenge sent forth by Archie Simp- 
son, of Aberdeen, and Bernard Savers, of Xorth 
Berwick, to play any other two a foursome match 
for £50 a side. The challenge was promptly ac- 
cepted by Andrew Kirkaldy and Alexander Herd, 
and this match has still to be played. Neverthe- 
less, Kirkaldy may, perhaps, steal a day or two 
for a single match with Park. 

All the players engaged in this foursome are 
men of note. Archie Simpson is the brother of 
that Jack Simpson whom we have mentioned be- 
fore as a winner of the championship and a long 
driver with a fine slashing style. It is to be 
lamented that he is no more. Archie, however, 
is a worthy upholder of the family honor, a fine 
driver, too, with a long, powerful style ; in every 
point a fine golfer. 

A few years ago Herd was playing so well that 



116 <3olf 

it seemed impossible for any one to beat him in a 
scoring competition. At the time of Taylor's 
second championship Herd was winning every- 
thing, and it was only by an extraordinarily fine 
last round that, even for the championship, 
Taylor induced him to take second place. Herd's 
style has not the slashing freedom of some of 
those others that we have noticed, but by way of 
compensation — and perhaps, just a little more 
than merely adequate compensation — it seems to 
have a remarkable compactness, as if all its mo- 
tions were under unusual^ good control ; and 
this we may, perhaps, take to be the reason that 
Herd is so very consistently good when he is in 
form. He is a very fine short game player, and 
his driving is only out-distanced by the very long 
ones. 

Then there is Sayers. For awhile, for most of 
his golfing Life, he used to play with a club that 
seemed disproportionately long for him, for he is 
a man of short stature ami his clubs used to be 
unusually long. But lately, following the fashion 
that A^ardon set, he has, as we have said, shortened 
all his driving clubs, and his game is, no doubt, 
the belter for it. He plays with less effort, and 
there seems t«> be ;i reserve of power in him that 
he had not when he played with so long a club 



<3olfers anfc Stales 11? 

that "the tail seemed to wag the dog." His 
golfing career has been full of triumph, but per- 
haps he has seldom had a greater than when he 
met, and beat, the redoubtable Andrew Kirkaldy 
a few years ago in a home and home match. 

Another of the North Country professionals 
with a very fine style, and a perfect knowledge 
of all the departments of the game, is Willie 
Fernie. Just lately he has made a new record 
for the Prestwick links, on which all the best 
talent has been playing for generations. It is he 
that came South and gave a series of golfing 
lectures, which were well attended and helped 
some crippled swings not a little. 

Of the amateurs none holds quite equal place 
with Mr. Ball and Mr. Hilton. The former has 
four times been amateur champion and was the 
first to break the professional spell and win the 
open championship from the professionals ; the 
second has never won the amateur championship, 
but he has won the open tw r ice. But after these, 
at the moment of writing, we must place Mr. F. G. 
Tait, who has been amateur champion once, and 
has twice played up in a most worthy manner 
for the open championship. If a Scottish amateur 
is to win the open championship in the immediate 
future we think that Mr. Tait will be the man to 



118 <3olf 

win it. His game has in it something of the 
characteristic of Herd's — he always seems to he 
going well within himself and to have a reserve 
of force which he could bring out if occasion re- 
quired it. With a comparatively quiet swing he 
drives a very long ball, and he is good with all 
his cluhs — a better putter than the long driver is 
wont to be. 

The last amateur championship meeting, held 
at Muirfield, saw the success of Mr. Travers Allan, 
a young player of whom little was known, except 
locally. lie surprised all who saw him play by 
his quiet determination, and eventually he beat 
Mr. Robb in the final tic with considerable ease. 
He was very young when he won that honor, and 
yet, before his year of holding it was over, he 
was no more. At the moment of writing there, 
is no amateur champion, and all the golfing world 
has felt the sadness of so melancholy and prema- 
ture a loss. 

And now we must, bring this chapter to a close, 
though fully conscious that there are many, many 
players to whom we owe apologies for the fact 
that their names are not, among the worthies we 
have thus casually mentioned. But even to name 
all the first-class players, whose performances 
have been worthy of note, and whose styles arc 



Golfers ano Stales 119 

useful patterns for the golfing* tyros, would fill a 
chapter of itself, and to the general public might 
prove, in the words of the Scotsman, who read 
from first word to last of the Greek Lexicon, 
"Yerra interesting readin' but a trifle discon- 
nect^." 



120 $Olt 



CHAPTER VI 



MATCH PLAY 



The history of the great majority of hard- 
fought matches is the same ; there is a hole or 
two of give-and-take at the start before either 
side has really settled down to work; then there 
follows a ding-dong strenuous battle, until about 
three or four holes from home, one or other side 
holes along putt, lays an iron shot dead, or wins 
a crucial hole by sonic wonderful feat. Then the 
other side " cracks " — goes off its game — and the 
remainder of the round is but a procession to 
its grave. It is thus that the "crack" is some- 
times brought about. Very much more often, 
however, it is the result of a piece of bad play on 
the part of the "cracking" side, rather than of 
superhumanly good piny on the part of the win- 
nine side— for the former is far more common. 
Bui the three points we wish to call to notice in 
the typical history of golf-matches are (1) the few 



dftatcb fl>la£ 121 

holes of loose play at the start ; (2) the ding-dong 
battle ; and (3) the crisis. 

Taking the first point in its order, we shall find 
by observation of others and of our own play, 
that it commonly takes two or three holes for the 
player to become alive to the difficulty of the task 
he has entered on; he is apt to drive with a joy- 
ous carelessness — to putt with no deep sense of 
his responsibilities, feeling that there is " lots of 
time ; " that if he loses a hole or two now he can 
get it back long before the finish. This is a bad 
frame of mind to start in ; and though it is true 
that the adversary may be playing with a similar 
carelessness, it is evident that the one who first 
settles down to serious business will gain that 
much of an advantage. It is always well, there- 
fore, at the start, to recall to yourself past ex- 
periences of matches which have depended on 
the result of a single putt, and to remember 
how immensely important that crucial putt had 
seemed ; whereas the result of a similar putt at 
the first or second hole had appeared of no com- 
parative consequence. Reflect that in point of 
fact the influence of either on the match was pre- 
cisely identical — that if you had holed the putt 
(which you missed and thought nothing of) at the 
first hole, your nerves would never have been 



122 <30lf 

subjected to all that severe test at the crucial 
point. Remember that, in the end, it is the easiest 
plan to play your very hardest from the very 
first. In point of fact, the result of the first two 
or three holes is, in many instances, all-important. 
There are so many men who are depressed by a 
balance of two holes up against them. Golfers 
deceive themselves very much about this. It is 
common to hear them say, " Oh, I hate being up. 
I play far better if I am a hole or two behind." 

They believe this themselves, but no one else, 
who has had much golfing experience, will readily 
believe it. " It is easy to play the winning game," 
is a proverb which is far more generally true. 
Play your hardest from the very first, then, with 
the conviction that the encouragement of a hole 
or two to your credit will improve your game, as 
it gives you confidence, and will correspondingly 
take a little off the confidence and execution of 
your opponent. The previous stroke, and the 
previous results, have always their moral effects. 
It is wiser to recognize than to ignore them. For 
this reason, at the drive from the first tee, if 
your adversary offers you the " honor," accept it ; 
for most drives are tolerably good ones, and you 
are more lively, by making a good, clean shot, to 
put a little of the fear of death on your opponent 



/Ifcatcb flMaE 123 

than he is to encourage you by making a * top." 
On the other hand, it is, perhaps, scarcely neces- 
sary to say that it is not in the best of form to 
take the honor, unless it be offered — at all events 
without some such phrase of courtesy as " Shall I 
begin % " or the like. 

Then, having got the " honor," do your best to 
keep it. By the latest St. Andrews roles it is in- 
culcated, amongst the maxims of etiquette, that 
the player who has the " honor" shall be allowed 
to drive off from the tee before the adversary 
shall " tee " his ball. He thus is not bothered by 
the adversary looking about for a tee while he is 
striking. There is no penalty for the breach of 
this maxim ; but on this very account it ought to 
be regarded, in common with the other maxims 
of etiquette, as almost more rigidly to be ob- 
served than those rules which have the sanction 
of a penalty. The adversary is expected to stand 
still and silent while the player is making his 
stroke ; he is expected to stand where the player 
shall wish him to stand, so as not to distract the 
eye which should be giving all its attention to 
the ball. Even though the requirements of the 
player may often be somewhat whimsical, it is 
the duty of the opponent to humor and respect 
them. Breach of a rule is a matter, more or less, 



IU (Bolt 

at the breakers risk ; but in infringements of 
the maxims of etiquette he is sinning in inglori- 
ous security, and the man of fine feeling will see 
that he should be the more scrupulous on the 
point of honor than on the point of law. 



ftandfcappfng 125 



CHAPTER YII 

HANDICAPPING 

A handicap is pretty sure to be a good one (1) 
if everybody concerned is pleased ; or (2) if every- 
body concerned is dissatisfied. This, however, 
seldom happens, so that the inference is that few 
handicaps are good ones. As a rule, the dissatisfied 
are in a large majority — a majority swollen by 
those who are not genuinely displeased, but who 
think that any show of satisfaction might be taken 
to imply that they consider themselves over- 
favorably handicapped, and so damage their 
future chances. It will, therefore, appear that 
the handicapper's life is unlikely to be a happy 
one, and that his remuneration more often takes 
the shape of kicks, metaphorically speaking, than 
of half-pence. 

The fact is that it is not the handicapper's 
fault. Of all games that the idleness of man has 
invented, none defies calculation so persistentlv as 
golf. 



126 <3olf 

There are two ways in which it seems reason- 
able to approach the task of handicapping a num- 
ber of men for a score competition. The one is 
to assume a certain score to be the score which a 
scratch-player is likely to return if he plays his 
best game, and taking this as the unit, to handi- 
cap the others so that each, if he also plays his 
best game, will be likely to return a net score of 
tin 1 same figure. " Another way " is to handicap 
so that each man, when he starts, will have an 
equal chance of winning. Both these plans seem 
reasonable, yet neither of them is practical, and 
mutually they are inconsistent. The reason of 
this — and the reason that golf handicaps must al- 
ways, so far as human foresight can see, remain 
imperfect — is that a good golfer plays his best 
game so very much more frequently than a bad 
player does. The result of which is that if you 
handicap on the former method your scratch- 
player will win far often er than your long-handi- 
capped men ; whereas, if you handicap on the 
Latter method your limit players will sometimes 
win with scores which are, humanly speaking, im- 
possible for the scratch-player to touch, and you 
lind yourself in the position of a handicapper for 
a hundred yards' race, seeing one of the long- 
start men do the hundred jn nine seconds. Ao 



cording to our present system there is usually 
no third method possible; therefore, the handi- 
capper is reduced to do his best out of a com- 
promise between these two — and, like most com- 
promises, it is a futile thing. 

That we are stating no prejudiced view, a refer- 
ence to those selling lotteries which we have be- 
fore mentioned with reprobation, will suffice to 
show. Therein, though it is one of the principles 
which a handicap is supposed to recognize that 
all should start with ecpial chances, we find that 
one man's chance sells for four or five pounds, 
while another's is not deemed worth so many 
shillings. Still, it is not the handicapper who is 
to blame ; for he is asked to perform impossibili- 
ties. He can but make the best he may out of a 
bad job, and ask St. Andrew's favor not to stultify 
his efforts too completely. Moreover, there is a 
general feeling that the handicapper is every- 
body's enemy. Far from seeking to help him, 
there are many men who seem to take a delight 
in trying to mystify him — to think that they have 
done a clever thing if they conceal their real 
game from him. Many shabby tricks are re- 
sorted to for this end ; and it is these evil prac- 
tices which make us so averse to the " selling lot- 
teries " which offer a substantial temptation to 



128 <3olt 

those whose principles are at all "loose in the 
glue." 

The maxim for the handicapper, then, is to do 
his best to avoid the mistakes which will follow 
the uncompromising adoption of either of the 
methods which seem so full of sweet reasonable- 
ness, lie must exercise his judgment. He must 
not be too closel\ r bound up in red tape, nor fol- 
low too blindly the records of previous perform- 
ances. He must take these records at their 
proper value — not so much " penalizing- for a win " 
as for the degree of skill of which that win was 
evidence. His business is to start all players on 
an equality, with the modification which is requi- 
site, in order that the scratch-players should not 
be handicapped out of all possible chance- — and a 
vow difficult business it is. 

Much, too, might 1)0 written on tin 4 mutual re- 
lations of players and spectators. The player 
has a right to expect the same consideration 
from the spectator as from the opponent in such 
matters as silence and immobility. On the other 
hand, the immobility and silence which are ex- 
acted as a due from the opponent are rather eon- 
ceded by courtesy on the part of the spectator ; 
so that the player, if occasion for complaint 

should arise, ought to conch his complaint in the 



1banfcicappfn0 . 129 

terms of one who is asking a courtesy. But, in 
point of fact, there should be no need for com- 
plaint ; and, indeed, the complaining is as distress- 
ing and disturbing to finely-strung nerves as is 
the offense which has occasioned it. 

The consideration of side issues suggested by 
our first point — the loose way in which the first 
few holes of a round are commonly played — has 
led us into digression. We will return to this 
point in order to say to those who aie about to 
commence a match in this the normal method, 
" Don't " — Apply yourself with intensity to the 
business of the game from the very start. It is 
the easiest plan in the end, for it may spare you 
severer struggles later on. Golf your hardest 
from start to finish. 

The next point in the story of the typical golf 
match is the ding-dong battle in the middle of 
the round. A very great secret of success in 
golf is to remember that your adversary does not 
beat you nearly so much as you beat yourself — 
by which we mean that very many more matches 
are decided by the mistakes of the loser than by 
any abnormal feat on the part of the victor. 
The great thing to do in match play, as in medal 
play, is to go on playing as well as you can. Do 
not think too much about the game of your op- 
9 



130 (Bolt 

ponent. Play your own game as well as you can 
and trust to your opponent's mistakes for your 
victory. The man who makes the fewest mis- 
takes is the man who wins most golf matches. 
It is not by heroic means that their issue is decided 
— it is by " tops," and " sclaffs," and misses, which 
are usually the result of striving after heroic feats 
— the result of "pressing." It is a good plan to 
try to get out of your head the fact of your 
opponent's existence. Say to yourself, not that 
} r ou have come out to beat such and such a man, 
but that you have come out to try to play the 
game as well as you can, to make every stroke as 
perfectly as possible, to avoid making a mistake. 
That is the way to win matches — the way which 
the most successful match players have pursued. 
Of course, it is not to be said that this theory is 
not liable to abuse, as are all theories of human 
conception. If the adversary lias played two or 
three more it would be folly to attempt a long 
carry over a bad bunkeriip to the hole ; although, 
if the player was two strokes behind, it might be 
the better wisdom to attempt the perilous feat. 
All theories must be accepted in a rational spirit, 
but the tendency is certainly not to realize the 
truth that is contained in the theory we have 
stated, hut to try, by heroic pressing, to do some 



IbanDicapptng 231 

thing which shall make the opponent lie down 
and cry for mercy. That is not the best method 
of golf. To wear him out by the non vi sed scejje 
cadendo plan is the thing. Always lay your long 
putts dead. Make him think that you will un- 
failingly hole in two from any part of the putting- 
green, and he will find it very hard to play up 
against this paralyzing conviction. The moral 
effect of character is much underrated at golf. 
We find it in our own experience, though we 
may never have definitely stated it ourselves ; 
but probably we are all aware of the depressing 
effect of playing against one who has the charac- 
ter of " never knowing when he is beaten, 5 ' who, 
we are sure, will play up to the very end. On 
the other hand, how encouraging it is to feel that 
our opponent is a man whom a small contretemps 
can put off, who is apt to " crack " at the crucial 
point, who cannot bear the weight of two holes 
down. Then, again, we play with much more 
confidence against an opponent whom we have 
often beaten, but are depressed by the knowledge 
that we are playing against one who has been in 
the habit of getting the best of us. But all this 
moral effect is greatly annulled if we can keep 
our attention fixed upon our own play without 



132 <3olf 

being too greatly concerned about out-playing 
our opponent. 

Some are very much oppressed when they find 
themselves outdrjyjm^nd this is really more true 
of long drivers than of short drivers; for the 
latter are more accustomed to it. It is distaste- 
ful to find another constantly outdriving us, but 
it makes but little difference, if only we can bring 
ourselves to believe it. The difference between 
the respective lengths of men's drives is very 
slight, after all. Very seldom does one gain of 
another a full stroke in any one hole by length 
of driving ; but how often is a stroke lost and 
gained on the putting-green ? The true means 
of hardening our hearts against the depressing 
influence of being outdriven is to put ourselves 
into the way of longer drivers than ourselves, 
and to play many matches with them. So, by 
familiarity, we shall grow to have a certain con- 
tempt for what is, in reality, a slight advantage 
that these Jehus gain ; and the sensation will not 
o paralyzing as if it came to us but rarely. 
And this, again, is but part of a bigger principle 
— that if we want to improve we must play with 
better players than ourselves. It is better that 
our imitation of tin.' methods of superior players 
should he as little conscious as possible ; in that 



t>an&fcappfn(j 133 

way it is more perfect, and the result becomes 
more truly a part of our personal property in 
golf. Certainly it is not well to try by strenuous 
effort of muscle to drive up to a naturally longer 
driver. If by the improvement in our style, 
greater length comes to us, as it were, naturally, 
by all means let us accept the good gift with 
gratitude ; but it is no use trying to persuade the 
ball by the methods of the sledge-hammer. 

We have spoken of the humors of some golfers, 
as to the place in which they wish you to stand, 
etc., while they are playing, and have said that 
these are sometimes strained to whimsical lengths. 
They then become a nuisance, though it is your 
duty to respect them ; and you will bear with 
them with the greater patience if you can re- 
member that they are by far a bigger nuisance to 
the player who is vexed with these fancies than 
they can be to any of those who have to put up 
with them. The same consideration may lead 
you to reflect on the undesirability of cultivating 
like fancies in } T ourself. Bear your misfortunes 
as long as you can, even if some one in your 
vicinity talks or moves while you are playing. 
The more you can bring yourself to treat these 
noxious circumstances as if you were unconscious 
of them, so much the more will you acquire a real 



134 (Bolt 

anconsciousness of them. This will add to your 
own happiness as a golfer as well as to the hap- 
piness of all who play with you, in spite of the 
fact that it will also win for you many more 
mutches than if you allowed a hyper-sensitiveness 
about your surroundings to grow until it fully 
possessed you. 

Neither is it conducive to the comfort of your- 
self or others to get into the way of continual 
complaint about your l uck,^ There never was a 
golfer yet who was not sometimes tempted to 
think himself the exclusive subject of Providence's 
chastisement. That this should be so universal an 
idea shows that, in reality, Fortune makes no such 
individual preferences. All men's luck in the 
long run is probably very much the same. The 
winning of golf matches depends much upon 
temperament — on a power of keeping the temper 
— and that is a power which grows with use, and 
will be found of very great efficacy throughout 
the ding-dong battle, and above all in the climax, 
the crucial point in the? match. At this point it 
becomes more imperative than ever to bear in 
mind the maxim that you are required to do 
nothing heroic, that you have only to go on play- 
ing steadily without mistakes, and that you may 
confidently count on a mistake, sooner or later, 



•foan&icapping 135 

to decide the issue of the match. Strive, then, 
to defer your own mistake ; let your ponent's 
mistake come first, and the whole business is done ; 
you have conquered at the crucial point, the match 
is yours. 

But, of course, the history of every golf match 
is not precisely in this wise — though this is the 
most typical story. Sometimes it happens that 
you will get a hole or two to the good early in 
the contest, and then it especially behooves you 
to try to keep steady. There arises, under these 
pleasant circumstances, a temptation to go care- 
lessly, with the golden ease of a man who has a 
balance at the bank. But this you must strenu- 
ously fight against. Remember the well-worn 
saws that the match is never lost till it is won, 
and the rest of them. Remember this wise say- 
ing no less when you are two or three down, and 
never relinquish hope. Some golfers have won a 
great reputation for their staying powers, for the 
faculty of stiching to a task which another would 
give up as hopeless. It is wonderful what 
matches these strong souls now and again pull 
out of the fire. 

Another danger which is apt to beset the path 
of the man who is a hole or two up is a nervous- 
ness arising from the idea that the match is al- 



136 <3olf 

ready within his grasp. His over-quick imagina- 
tion conjures for him a vision of victory which 
makes his pulses beat unduly fast and interferes 
with the "douce" serenity of his spirit and of 
his game. He gets frightened by his own success. 
Perhaps in match-play this feeling is less common 
than the pleasing confidence which success more 
often engenders; but nearly eveiy one is aware 
of a similar sensation in score play. Over and 
over again has a man gone out in a fine score, 
and the sheer prospect of victory has unmanned 
him and made him spoil himself on the way home. 
The more we can engage our attention with the 
stroke which is before us at the moment the less 
we shall be affected by the prospect or the retro- 
spect. It is thus that the man of slow imagination 
has the advantage. His vision is not clouded by 
ghosts of his bunkered past or second-sighted 
fancies of a future unlikely to be realized. " It's 
dogged as docs it," is the phrase quoted out of 
the mouth of an illiterate man by one of our 
greal thinkers. He used it of the quality which 
wins English b;iftl<s, and makes the ^nglo-Saxon 
what he is; but it applies excellently to the spirit 
in which golf matches are won — a dogged per- 
sistence in doing the duty which lies nearest to 
us, the stroke immediately in hand. In score play 



IbanMcappfng 13? 

this is especially true. " The medal player," 
says Sir Walter Simpson, " must be no Lot's 
wife." 

So far as actual play goes, we are inclined to 
think that the portion of the game which most 
generally affects the result of matches is the ap- 
proach stroke. It is exceedingly important not 
to miss drives, and to lay putts dead ; but the 
importance of these is obvious, whereas a prime 
fact about the approach stroke often escapes 
notice — namely, that it is almost always short. 
No matter whether it be played with wood or 
iron, with full or half-swing, the greatly prepon- 
derating tendency of the golfer is not to be up 
with it. We firmly believe that any player who 
could harden his heart always to be up to the 
hole would put on a good third to his game ; 
and, in the case of inferior players, might put on 
from a half to a stroke a hole. There is no 
maxim like it — " the hole will not come to 
you." 

You see all your calculations, as you address 
yourself to play the approach shot, are based on 
the supposition that you are going to hit the ball 
clean. Now, nothing can very well occur to 
make you hit it cleaner than clean, and so send 
it farther than yon have calculated, whereas all 



138 Golf 

sorts of misadventures by which you may hit it 
not cleanly are only too familiar. The result is 
that nine approach shots out of ten are short. 

With training, in the sense of die ting, the golfer 
happily need not greatly concern Himself . " The 
only difference that I see,' 1 said a famous pro- 
fessional player, " between Mr. A. and Mr. B." 
(naming two first-class amateurs) " and the pro- 
fessionals is that they get mair to eat and mair 
to drink." The general intention was obviously 
complimentary, but whether the speaker meant 
to suggest that the greater opportunities of the 
amateur were helps or hindrances was less clear. 
Of course it is possible to adopt a scheme of diet 
which will promote so great a difference of opinion 
between the inner man and the outward eye that 
the ball appeal's a very hazy object, but the cure 
for this parlous stale is to be sought rather in 
manuals which treat of medicine than of golf. 
On the whole, one plays best when one is well, 
but not too well — not too keen — with that horrid 
imaginative facultv not too brightly sensitive. 
Certain it is that an empty stomach - that vacuum 
universally abhorred by Nature is an especially 
bad basis on which to play a severe match. Feed 

the inner man well and wisely, but do not abuse. 
The question of the amount of practice which 



IbanDicapping 139 

is beneficial is one to which it is most difficult to 
give at all a distinct answer. "We are speaking 
now of the case of a man who has reached his 
standard in golf, not of the learner and the im- 
proving player. These latter can hardly practise 
too much. Above all it is useful for them to get 
a good long continuous term of practice ; other- 
wise they are rather apt to forget, in the gaps, 
what little they may have learned and so be 
obliged to start again, each time, almost from 
the beginning. Bat even to the learner there 
comes a time at which he feels that he has grown 
" stale " — that the action of hitting the ball is 
abhorrent to him, and one which he would like to 
pay another to do for him. The course of the 
learner of golf bears some resemblance to the in- 
flowing tide, he seems at times to be in a regular 
wave of progress, and advances swimmingly ; 
then for a while he will fall back into a back- 
wash and seem to retrograde ; but it is only to 
come on again, with better progress than ever, 
in the next successful wave, so that by slow but 
sure degrees the tide flows on. The beginner will 
often be tempted to throw up the game in sheer 
disgust when he finds himself in these back- 
waters, but he must keep up his spirits by the 
knowledge that others have passed before him 



HO <3olf 

through precisely similar experience on their way 
to the high-water mark. Then, as the learner 
proceeds, he will find frequent cause for exasper- 
ation that on Monday, say, he will be driving 
very finely, but putting and approaching like an 
imbecile — Tuesday will find him topping his tee 
shots and " foozling " the globe through the 
green, but putting as if the hole could not be 
missed — on "Wednesday he will, as likely as not, 
be both driving and putting execrably but ap- 
proaching with the skill of a professional. How 
he will sigh, then, for the great day, which seems 
as if it never would come, on which he shail be 
found at his best in all departments. But that is 
the day for which all his practice is forming him, 
and which nothing but length of practice will 
ever bring to pass. 

But the question of practice becomes more diffi- 
cult when we look at it from the point of view of 
the man whose game is crystallized, or who, if he 
be improving at all, does so by degrees so tiny as 
to be almost imperceptible. It seems as though 
"practice makes perfect" should bean answer to 
the problem ; but it is to be received with caution. 
For it is within the experience of all of us, prob- 
ably, to have been surprised to find, after a long 
rest, that the game seems easier than when we 



IbanMcappfna 141 

left it off; we play a round or two with a careless 
success which surprises us. Then, if we are very 
young, we soon experience the almost greater and 
certainly less pleasing surprise of finding that the 
cunning of our unpracticed hand was a delusive 
thing, and that after these two or three first 
rounds it deserts us. Then begins the old tread- 
mill again, until we grow, by slow degrees, to re- 
establish ourselves on our old, more or less satis- 
factory relations with the game. 

But, to pursue the course of this golfer, who 
has long been without practice and has at length 
worked himself back to his old status— for awhile 
this fair degree of skill will be with him, but 
gradually he will feel that sensation of loss of 
keenness and paralyzing staleness, which we 
hinted at before, creeping over him, and again 
he relapses. The pleasantest thing to do, in this 
state of things, is to take a holiday for a while 
and then come back with renewed ardor. This 
is the pleasantest course, but it is not the best, 
for soon the regained ardor will wear off and you 
will be as bad as ever ; but if, on the other hand, 
you persevere through this trying course of 
" stale " and indifferent golf, you will find, after 
a weary while, that your skill and zest in the 
game are coming back to you (how, you know 



143 <3olf 

not), and it is this recovered skill and vigor which 
will be useful, for they will stay with you and 
not desert you. It is like a second wind which 
we gain, not by stopping and resting, but by 
going on while we are quite pumped out, until 
the blessed lightening of the lungs comes to re- 
ward our perseverance. It is in this condition 
only that the golfer can be said to be in fidl 
practice. As Willie Park lately said to the pres- 
ent writer, " you need to be playing golf prett} T 
steadily for six months before you can depend on 
your game. 1 ' It is perfectly true, though certainly 
it sounds very heroic counsel, for it is given to 
but few to be able to give up six months to golf. 
It is nut meant, however, that the golfer should 
play every day, by any means, of this period. 
Five days a fortnight is, perhaps, the ideal 
amount of practice for one who can thus devote 
a portion of consecutive weeks to golf. Three 
d;ivs a week is not too much. Four in a week is 
rather much for a long continuance — two days is 
rather loo little. 

These, then, are the main facts which seem 
generally to be acknowledged to be true about 
practice in golf. A little of it, after a rest, is 
rather a dangerous thing— your first two or three 
rounds will probably be better than a good many 



IbanMcappina 143 

of the succeeding ones. After } t ou have passed 
out of the trough of this wave you will come out 
on to the crest of a wave of good play, which 
will keep you going for a week or two — then you 
will relapse into a trough again ; you may give 
up the battle, take a week's rest, and come up 
again smiling; but if you can afford the time, it 
is best in the long run to keep on struggling in 
this back eddy, because when you have emerged 
from it you will be in halcyon waters, with but 
brief disturbances, indefinitely. 

But especially observe, if you are able to give 
months, consecutively, to the game, it is notj y^U- 
to play all day and every day; three full days of 
golf a week is enough, four is perhaps an error 
on the side of the too much — always supposing 
(a large supposition) that you prefer quality to 
quantity in your golf. 

The sort of practice which is good, but gener- 
ally disregarded because it is dull, is the practice 
which consists in going out alone with the club 
with which you are weakest and fighting with it, 
single-handed, until you have gained the mastery 
over it. You are unlikely to have any trouble in 
finding a club with which you are weak, and it 
is very improbable but that a few dozen shots 
with it, and with exclusive attention to ways and 



144 (Bolt 

means of dealing with it, will greatly strengthen 
you. 

Can the difficulty in any way be relieved ? 
We believe that it would be greatly overcome by 
a more general adoption of the plan of competi- 
tion in classes — all who are in receipt of twelve 
strokes, say or under, to be in the first-class ; all 
from twelve to twenty -four in the second-class ; 
and all upwards, if they are deemed worthy of 
competing for a prize at all, in the third-class. 
AVe are convinced that this would make competi- 
tions far more satisfactory, and wotdd smooth 
much of the difficulty from the rugged path of 
the handicapper. 

In the meetings of handicap committees held 
under the present system it commonly happens 
that the names of one or two men turn up whose 
play is known to none of the members of the 
committee. In this event it is wise to leave the 
handicap of these unknown ones standing over un- 
til one or other of the members of the committee, 
who shall accept the task as his special business 
shall have made such inquiries as shall enable 
the handicapper to mete out something like justice. 
The bete noir of the golf handicapper is the im- 
proving player. It is so very hard to be as cruel 
to a man of this class as justice to the other 



IbanMcapping 145 

players demands. Very often the improving 
player is almost a boy — always, almost, he is a 
beginner, for few improve so fast after their first 
few years at golf as to give the handicapper any 
real trouble in overtaking them. It seems pecu- 
liarly hard to blight the young idea just when it 
is beginning to shoot and before it has made itself 
obnoxious by winning prizes. But if justice is to 
be shown to the other players this must be done, 
and, in so doing, no less than justice is shown to 
the player who is penalized. After all, there 
should be no sentiment about it. Golf, as a wise 
man once observed, is not charity. 

He who made this epigram was a true sports- 
man, for it was apropos of a suggestion for raising 
his own handicap that he said it. He declared 
that he did not want any more points, that he 
thought he had enough, and that if he could not 
win at these points he did not care to win at all. 
This is a noble spirit. The handicapper's posi- 
tion would be a far more pleasant one if it were 
more common. Some chivalrous souls have it as 
their greatest ambition to come down to scratch, 
and hail with delight, as public recognition of 
their improvement, the reduction of their odds. 
But, like noble men in other walks of life, they 
are in a small minority. 
10 



140 <3olf 

Golfers in these days belong to many clubs, and 
it is very much the practice for handicappers to 
give strangers the points which the latter have 
on their home greens. Their handicap at home is, 
of course, a valuable guide, but it should be taken 
with certain reservations. Custorahas established 
a sort of ideal scratch man — a mere invention for 
convenience sake, like the equatorial line — whose 
presumed best score on each green is accepted 
as the unit on which the handicaps are based. 
Sometimes exceptional players are put "behind 
scratch" — i.e., have to give points to the ideal 
scratch man. There is, therefore, a wise en- 
deavor to establish a uniform unit — the score 
of the ideal scratch man represents, roughly, 
about the same quality of play everywhere. But 
when the odds from this ideal scratch score have 
to be reckoned, it becomes necessary to take into 
consideration the nature of the course on which 
the stranger has been accustomed to play. For 
illustration's sake we will suppose a St. Andrews 
player to come to Sandwich, and to tell the Sand- 
wich handicappers that his odds ;it St. Andrews 
are eighteen. To have such Long odds as these 
it is fair to presume that lie is either a, short driver 
or a very uncertain one. In either ease a handi- 
cap of eighteen will be of greater value to him at 



IbanDicappina 147 

St. Andrews than it will be at Sandwich. At St. 
Andrews there are no long carries from the tee, and 
there are but few places where a topped shot gets 
badly punished. The characteristics of Sandwich 
are just the reverse. A short driver is heavily pen- 
alized by his inability to carry bunkers which al- 
most always confront a Sandwich tee; and a 
topped ball at very many of the holes (notably 
at the Maider) entails penalties which are quite 
indefinitely large. So, if eighteen is a just handi- 
cap at St. Andrews for our visitor to Sandwich, 
he will require more points on the southern green. 
And this principle must always be present to the 
mind of the handicapper who is fixing the odds 
for a stranger. At North Berwick a clever iron 
player and good putter will require very few 
odds, though his driving may be so indifferent 
that he would need quite a large handicap on 
longer greens. Again, a man who has learned 
all his golf on an inland course will be very much 
handicapped, to his disadvantage, by the change 
to a sandy links — and vice versa. All these con- 
siderations should enter into the complicated 
business of the handicapper, and each should be 
given its due weight. 

The handicap committee is generally a small 
body, appointed either by the members or by the 



148 <3olf 

general committee of the club. It is advisable 
that it should not be too large a body, for, though 
in the multitude of counselors there may be much 
wisdom, it is certain that there will be much loss 
of time. Three or five are good numbers for the 
handicap committee. Certainly it should be an 
odd number, so that in case of a vote being taken 
there may be a majority. All the members ought 
to sign their name to the handicap list, when com- 
pleted, before it is put up in the club room ; and 
it is scarcely necessary to say, after having once 
been signed and posted, it should on no account 
be altered. The members of the handicap com- 
mittee, however few, should be so selected as to 
represent different branches of the golfing com- 
munity. For, as a general thing, men play 
mostly with their equals, and can form a better 
opinion of the play of those whose performances 
are somewhat on a par with their own. A long- 
odds man will not know much about the short- 
handicap players, nor will a scratch-man often 
play withstroke-a-hole men. Therefore, as things 
stand at present— that is to say, while competi- 
tions in classes are the exception rather than the 
rule - it is ndvis-ible to put on your handicap com- 
mittee one who shall represent the scratch- 
pi avers, one who shall be able to speak to the 



f>an&fcappfnfl 149 

comparative merits of those who receive twelve 
strokes, or thereabouts, and one for the people 
who are in the lowest grade of golf. Thus you 
will have the best chance of arriving at justice 
for the whole body of players. 

So far we have spoken entirely of competitions 
by score. A modification, and an exceedingly in- 
genious one, has been lately introduced into the 
golfing world under the name of Colonel Bogey. 
Colonel Bogey, as his name implies, is a sort of 
ghost ; and against him all the players who enter 
for the Bogey competition have to match them- 
selves. The score of Colonel Bogey is fixed by 
the committee of the club, or by some person in 
authority naming the number of strokes which 
the ghostly Colonel is supposed to take to each 
hole. This score is fixed before the golfers go out 
to play ; so that at each hole the player knows 
exactly what he has to do in order to halve with 
or win from his ghostly opponent. At the con- 
clusion of the round, the cards are handed in, and 
the man who has beaten Colonel Bogey by most 
holes, or been defeated by him by fewest holes, is 
the winner of the competition. If two or more 
have tied, on this showing, the cards of the win- 
ners are compared against each other, and he 
who is one or more holes up, as against the 



150 (Bolt 

other or others, is declared the aosolute win- 
ner. 

The merit of this plan is that it enables a large 
number of competitors to be brought together, 
and their performance to be tested by the result 
of a single round, while they are all the while 
playing match-play— i. e., by holes — and not score- 
play. There is no doubt that match-play is the 
original idea of the game of golf. Score play is 
but a device for bringing a number of players to- 
gether so that their merits in a single round may 
be compared. So the invention of Colonel Bogey 
combines these two advantages. 

In a match of this sort it is evident that the 
odds given to each man must be not only named 
in the gross, but that the holes at which he is to 
take these odds must also be stated. And this 
also is determined by a body having authority, 
such as the committee of the club. There is 
usually a printed card informing players at what 
holes three strokes in the round are to be taken, 
at what holes four strokes, and so on. Should a, 
player receive more than eighteen Btrokes on the 
round, there will be some holes at which he will 
receive two st rokes. 

But in match-play a player will not receive 
as many strokes as he would receive if playing 



IbanMcappfng 101 

by score. The reason of this is that the inferior 
player, generally speaking, is more unsteady than 
the better player — he is more liable to take a 
very large number over one or more holes at 
which he comes to grief ; he is less able to ex- 
tricate himself from difficulties. It is probable 
that at one hole, at least, on the round, he will 
lose several strokes more than he will gain on 
any other hole from a stronger and more steady 
opponent. But this consideration becomes of far 
less weight in a whole match. The hole is lost, 
whether to Bogey or to a mundane opponent, 
and there is an end of it. He loses one hole, in- 
stead of a formidable number of strokes. Two- 
thirds or three-eighths of the just number of odds 
in score-play seems to be recognized as about the 
fair proportion in hole-play ; and generally speak- 
ing an odd fraction is determined in favor of the 
giver of odds. Colonel Bogey is an estimable 
person, and we fully expect to find this method of 
handicapping come more and more into general 
favor. It is certainly more pleasant to play a hole 
match, even against an opponent of supernatural 
accuracy, than to play that horrid score game, 
with the ever-present fear of an impossible lie and 
a double figure in the score as its result. 

The score of Colonel Bogey, who is a scratch- 



153 <3olf 

player, is generally fixed on the assumption that 
the Colonel makes no mistakes, and that if he 
can reach the green with any iron club he will 
not fail to hole out in two more. It is a high, 
but not an absolutely heroic standard ; but it 
must always be remembered that the Colonel is 
affected by no eccentricities of wind or weather, 
and that he never gets a bad lie, loses his nerve 
or misses a short putt. 

It is usual, as we have implied, to make handi- 
capping for hole-play a simple matter of arith- 
metical deduction from the odds given in score- 
play. This is a rough-and-ready method which 
might be better; for some men are conspicuously 
better score-players than match-players — others 
are markedly the reverse. The man who gets 
eighteen points, say, in score-play by reason of his 
woeful unsteadiness will be better off with twelve 
in match-play ; whereas a man who gets eighteen 
because he is such a poor driver, though a steady 
one, will he much worse off with twelve in match- 
play. The steady man scarcely lias it in him to 
halve an occasional hole with the scratch-player ; 
whereas the unsteady man, in an occasional bril- 
liant interval, can do a hole .-is well ;is anybody. 
A scratch-player would far rather give the un- 
Bteady one eighteen strokes and play by score; 



"IbanMcapptnfl 153 

but to the steady potterer he would far rather 
give twelve strokes and play him a match by 
holes. But our general system of handicapping 
— in mercy to the kandicapper, whose duties are 
already quite sufficiently arduous and complicated 
— takes no note of these fine differences. Never- 
theless, in handicapping for private matches, the 
scratch-player — who seldom arrives at this pitch 
of excellence without a course of experience 
which has made him wary — may certainly with 
justice take a note of it, and arrange the plan of 
campaign conformably. 

Perhaps, however, this is such a fine and diffi- 
cult difference that the handicappers do wisely 
to ignore it. But there is a case to which the 
arithmetical method is very commonly applied 
and to which a certain modification should be 
made in its application. "We refer to the case of 
foursome competitions. The common method 
here is to add together the points of each partner 
and give the combined pair the sum of these 
points divided by two. It is very simple and it 
sounds as if it ought to be very right ; but in 
point of fact it is not so. The reason of its failure 
is that a combination of a strong player with a 
weak player will ordinarily defeat a combination 
of two medium players, though the sum of the 



154 ©Olf 

individual handicaps of each pair respectively 
may be identical. Some of the very finest four- 
some rounds have been made by a strong player 
in combination with a weak but steady partner. 
So fully is this realized that some golfers, who 
are by no means strong when playing their own 
ball, are quite celebrated as partners in a four- 
some. The late Mr. John Blackwood was a well- 
known case in point, and Captain Molesworth, 
E. X., is another. The truth is, that if a man be 
a good approacher and putter, thirty or forty 
yards' deficiency in the drive becomes of very 
little moment when a long driver is playing the 
alternate strokes. 

Therefore we would urge most strongly on 
handicap committees the advisability of taking 
this fact into their calculations when a foursome 
competition is forward, and suggest that a special 
handicap, which should take into account the 
strength of the combinations as well as of the 
individuals, would produce much better results. 

A last word with regard t<> the manifold dm as 
of the handicapper relates to competitions in 
which holesaregiven in lieu of strokes. IVonsense 
is often talked in this regard, as in others. Some 
contend that, if A can give 15 three holes up and 
B can give three holes up, it follows that A 



IbanMcapping 155 

can give C six holes up. The absurdity of this 
is evident if it be supposed, for illustration's sake, 
that A can give B nine holes up, and 13 can give 
C nine holes up. It is pretty clear that A would 
not have a very good chance of winning against 
C if he gave him eighteen holes up. It is a ver- 
sion of the old fallacy of Achilles and the tor- 
toise. A more pertinent question is the relation 
between odds given by strokes and odds given by 
holes. Roughly speaking, between good players, 
a third — or six strokes — is equivalent to some- 
thing a little over three holes up, with eighteen 
to play. But when we come to low grades of 
golf, holes up become relatively more valuable, 
because a third means more between better 
players than between inferior ones. 

Between good players there is seldom a differ- 
ence of more than a stroke at any given hole ; 
between bad players it is seldom that the differ- 
ence is so little as one stroke — therefore, there is 
far less chance of the stroke given as odds beino- 
of service. But the three holes up are solid facts, 
which must have weight in the result. This 
again, then, is a subtle point which the handi- 
capper should not neglect if he has to arrange for 
a competition in which holes are to be given. 

Other fanciful modes of handicapping, such as 



156 eoif 

playing with but one club against an opponent 
with a whole set — or permission to say " Bo ! ,J 
three times on a round in order to put the adver- 
sary off his stroke — do not need discussion ; but 
we would close this chapter by again reminding 
the golfer that the handicapper is a person who 
voluntarily and without remuneration accepts a 
deal of trouble, that it is the duty of every golfer 
to make the handicapper's task as little difficult 
and as little unpleasant as possible, and that it is 
in the very Avorst taste to grumble at the efforts 
of those who, however unsuccessfully, have pre- 
sumably done their best. 

When the handicapper has himself to be handi- 
capped it is advisable that he should leave the 
committee-room and permit his colleagues to 
settle his handicap without his assistance. 



Cbe IRulea 157 



CHAPTEE VIII 

THE KULES 

^ The rules of golf are less an invented canon 
than a natural growth. It is from St. Andrews 
that all clubs, more or less literally, took their 
rules — the original stock was of St. Andrews 
growth ; but since the St. Andrews rules, until 
recently, dealt with such special features as the 
Eden, the burn and the station-master's garden 
and so forth, other clubs were not able to make use 
of the St. Andrews rules in full, by reason of the 
presence of these purely local enactments. There- 
fore the St. Andrews Club, in response to a very 
generally expressed desire for uniformity, and for 
some code which might be universal, did, in Sep- 
tember, 1891, adopt a scheme laid before them by 
a sub-committee, whereby the rules, which are of 
general application, are printed as one body, with 
the local by-laws, under a separate heading, ap- 
pended thereto. Thus all clubs are now able to 
transcribe the general body of rules and adopt 
them for their own use, and to substitute for the 



158 <3olf 

St. Andrews local by-laws, such by-laws as the 
individual features of their own links may make 
requisite. £ 

We give, therefore, both the general rules, 
which may be universally used, and the St. 
Andrews local by-laws as a pattern of legislation 
for other localities. We append also a table 
showing the length of the respective holes on the 
Royal and Ancient Links, which, in the quality 
of fine length of holes, excels every other; and 
further, we give a table showing at what holes 
strokes are to be taken in the competition for the 
Jubilee Yase, for this table, too, may be found a 
useful model by other clubs. 

At the end is a glossary of the technical terms 
in common use in the game. 

Since the publication of the last edition of this 
book a committee, under the name of the Rules 
Committee, has been appointed by the Royal and 
Ancient Golf ( Hub of St. Andrews. It consists of 
some fifteen members, all being members of the 
Royal and Ancient Club, but at the same time — so 
wide is this great ( Hub's membership -representa- 
tiveof golfing opinion in all the corners of Great 
Britain. The office of the members of this Com- 
mittee, which is a permanent body, is to give an- 
swers on any vexed questions of the rules that 



£be IRules 159 

are submitted for their decision, to act as in- 
terpreters of the rules as at present constituted; 
and at the moment of writing they are consider 
ing the project of verbally revising the whole 
body of the rules. Their functions, however, are 
primarily interpretative, not legislative, and even 
their interpretations only have a temporary au- 
thority — that is to say until the ensuing general 
meeting of the lioyal and Ancient Club to which 
they are submitted, and by which they are either 
sent into limbo by rejection or converted into law 
by confirmation. This Committee, therefore, thus 
appointed and constituted, forms that central body, 
invested with recognized authority, for the de- 
cision of most points of golfing law, that golfers 
in general, and especially English golfers, have 
been asking for many years past, but have never 
been able to arrive at until the Royal and Ancient 
Club took the steps described. 

RULES FOR THE GAME OF GOLF 

1. The Game of Golf is played by two or more 
sides, each playing its own ball. A side may 
consist of one or more persons. 

2. The game consists in each side playing a ball 
from a tee into a hole by successive strokes, and 



1G0 <3olf 

the hole is won by the side holing its ball in the 
fewest strokes, except as otherwise provided for 
in the rules. If two sides hole out in the same 
number of strokes, the hole is halved. 

3. The teeing-ground shall be indicated by two 
marks placed in a line at right angles to the 
course, and the player shall not tee in front of, 
nor on either side of, these marks, nor more than 
two club lengths behind them. A ball played 
from outside the limits of the teeing-ground, as 
thus defined, may be recalled by the opposite side. 

The holes shall be 4J inches in diameter, and at 
least 4 inches deep. 

4. The ball must be fairly struck at, and not 
pushed, scraped or spooned, under penalty of the 
loss of the hole. Any movement of the club which 
is intended to strike the ball is a stroke. 

5. The game commences by each side playing 
a ball from the first teeing-ground. In a match 
with two or more on a side, the partners shall 

^--Strike off alternately from the tecs, and shall 
strike alternately during the play »>l* the hole. 

The players who are to strike against each other 
shall be named at starting, and shall continue in 
the same order during the match. 

The player who shall play first on each side 
shall be named by his own side. 



Cbe IRulea 161 

In case of failure to agree, it shall be settled 
by lot or toss which skle shall have the option 
of leading. 

6. If a player shall play when his partner should 
have done so, his side shall lose the hole, except 
in the case of the tee shot, when the stroke may 
be recalled at the option of the opponents. 

7. The side winning a hole shall lead in start- 
ing for the next hole, and may recall the oppo- 
nent's stroke should he play out of order. This 
privilege is called the " honor." On starting 
for a new match, the winner of the long match 
in the previous round is entitled to the " honor." 
Should the first match have been halved, the 
winner of the last hole gained is entitled to the 
" honor." 

8. One round of the Links — generally 18 holes 
— is a match, unless otherwise agreed upon. The 
match is won by the side which gets more holes 
ahead than there remain holes to be played, or 
by the side winning the last hole when the match 
was all even at the second last hole. If both sides 
have won the same number, it is a halved match. 

9. After the balls are struck from the tee, the 
ball farthest from the hole to which the parties 
are playing shall be played first, except as other- 
wise provided for in the rules. Should the wrong 

ii 



162 <3olt 

side play first, the opponent may recall the stroke 
before his side is played. 

10. Unless with the opponent's consent, a ball 
struck from the tee shall not be changed, touched 
or moved before the hole is played out, under 
the penalty of one stroke, except as otherwise 
provided for in the rules. 

11. In playing through the green, all loose im- 
pediments, within a club's length of a ball which 
is not lying in or touching a hazard, may be re- 
moved, but loose impediments which are more 
than a club's length from the ball shall not be 
removed under the penalty of one stroke. 

12. Before striking at the ball, the player shall 
not move, bend or break anything fixed or grow- 
ing near the ball, except in the act of placing his 
feet on the ground for the purpose of addressing 
the ball, and in soling his club to address the ball, 
under the penalty of the loss of the hole, except 
as provided for in Rule 18. 

13. A ball stuck fast in wet ground or sand 
may be taken out and replaced loosely in the 
hole which it has made. 

1 I. When a ball lies in or touches a hazard, 
the club shall not touch the ground, nor shall 
anything be touched <>r moved before the player 
strikes at the ball, except that the player may 



Zbc IRules 163 

place his feet firmly on the ground for the pur- 
pose of addressing the ball, under the penalty of 
the loss of the hole. 

But if in the backward as in the downward 
swing, any grass, bent, whin, or other growing 
substance, or the side of a bunker, a wall, paling, 
or other immovable obstacle be touched, no pen- 
alty shall be incurred. 

15. A " hazard " shall be any bunker of what- 
ever nature : — water, sand, loose earth, mole hills, 
paths, roads or railways, whins, bashes, rushes, 
rabbit scrapes, fences, ditches, or anything which 
is not the ordinary green of the course, except 
sand blown on to the grass by wind, or sprinkled 
on grass for the preservation of the Links, or 
snow or ice, or bare patches on the course. 

16. A player or a player's caddie shall not 
press down or remove any irregularities of sur- 
face near the ball, except at the teeing-ground, 
under the penalty of the loss of the hole. 

17. If any vessel, wheel-barrow, tool, roller, 
grass-cutter, box, or other similar obstruction has 
been placed upon the course, such obstruction 
may be removed. A ball lying on or touching 
such obstruction, or on clothes, or nets, or on 
ground under repair or temporarily covered up 
or opened, may be lifted and dropped at the 



164 Golf 

nearest point of the course, but a ball lifted in a 
hazard shall be dropped in the hazard. . A ball 
lying in a golf hole or flag hole, may be lifted 
and dropped not more than a club's length behind 
such hole. 

18. When a ball is completely covered with fog, 
bent, whins, etc., only so much thereof shall be 
set aside as that the player shall have a view of 
his ball before he plays, whether in a line with 
the hole or otherwise. 

19. "When a ball is to be dropped, the player 
shall drop it. lie shall front the hole, stand erect 
behind the hazard, keep the spot from which the 
ball was lifted (or in the case of running water, 
the spot at which it entered) in a line between 
him and the hole, and drop the ball behind him 
from his head, standing as far behind the hazard 
as he may please. 

l ; o. When the balls in play lie within six inches 
of each other — measured from their nearest points 
— the ball nearer the hole shall be lifted until the 
other is played, and shall then be replaced as 
nearly as possible in its original position. Should 
the ball farther from the hole be accidentally 
moved in so doing, it shall be replaced, Should 
the lie of the lifted ball be altered by the oppo- 
nent in playing, it may be placed in a lie near to, 



Ebe IRutes 165 

and as nearly as possible similar to, that from 
which it was lifted. 

21. If the ball lie or be lost in water, the player 
may drop a ball, under the penalty of one stroke. 

22. Whatever happens by accident to a ball in 
motion, such as its being deflected or stopped by 
any agency outside the match, or by the fore- 
caddie, is a " rub of the green," and the ball shall 
be played from where it lies. Should a ball lodge 
in anything moving, such ball, or if it cannot be 
recovered, another ball shall be dropped as nearly 
as possible at the spot where the object was when 
the ball lodged in it. But if a ball at rest be dis- 
placed by any agency outside the match, the player 
shall drop it or another ball as nearly as possible 
at the spot where it lay. On the putting-green 
the ball may be replaced by hand. 

23. If the player's ball strike, or be accidentally 
moved by an opponent, or an opponent's caddie 
or clubs, the opponent loses the hole. 

24. If the player's ball strike, or be stopped by 
himself or his partner, or either of their caddies 
or clubs, or if, while in the act of playing, the 
player strike the ball twice, his side loses the 
hole. 

25. If the player, when not making a stroke, or 
his partner or either of their caddies touch their 



1GG <3olf 

side's ball, except at the tee, so as to move it, or by 
touching anything cause it to move, the penalty is 
one stroke. 

26. A ball is considered to have been moved if 
it leave its original position in the least degree 
and stop in another; but if a player touch his ball 
and thereby cause it to oscillate, without causing 
it to leave its original position, it is not moved in 
the sense of Rule 25. 

27. A player's side loses a stroke if he play the 
opponent's ball, unless (1) the opponent then play 
the player's ball, whereby the penalty is- canceled, 
and the hole must be played out with the balls 
thus exchanged, or (2) the mistake occur through 
wrong information given by the opponent, in 
which case the mistake, if discovered before the 
opponent has played, must be rectilied by placing 
a bull ;is nearly as possible where the opponent's 
ball lay. 

If it be discovered before either side has struck 
oil' at the tee that one side lias played out the 
previous hole with the ball of a party not engaged 
in the match, that side loses that hole. 

28. If a ball be lost, the player's side loses the 
hole. A ball shall be held as lost if it be not 
found within live minutes after the search is be- 



Cbc IRules 1G7 

29. A ball must be played wherever it lies, or 
the hole be given up, except as otherwise provided 
for in the Rules. 

30. The term " Putting-Green " shall mean the 
ground within 20 yards of the hole, excepting 
hazards. 

31. All loose impediments may be removed 
from the putting-green, except the opponent's 
ball when at a greater distance from the player's 
than six inches. 

32. In a match of three or more sides, a ball in 
any degree lying between the player and the hole 
must be lifted, or, if on the putting-green, holed 
out. 

33. When the ball is on the putting-green, no 
mark shall be placed, nor line drawn as a guide. 
The line to the hole may be pointed out, but the 
person doing so may not touch the ground with 
the hand or club. 

The player ma) 7 have his own or his partner's 
caddie to stand at the hole, but none of the play- 
ers or their caddies may move so as to shield the 
ball from, or expose it to, the wind. 

The penalty for any breach of this rule is the 
loss of the hole. 

34. The player, or his caddie, may remove (but 
not press down) sand, earth, worm casts or snow 



168 <3olf 

lying around the hole or on. the line of his putt. 
This shall be done by brushing lightly with the 
hand only across the putt and nut along it. 
The putting line must not be touched by club, 
hand or foot, except as above authorized, or 
immediately in front of the ball in the act of 
addressing it, under the penalty of the loss of 
the hole. 

35. Either side is entitled to have the flag-stick 
removed when approaching the hole. If the ball 
rest against the flag-stick when in the hole, the 
player shall be entitled to remove the stick, and, 
if the ball fall in, it shall be considered as holed 
out in the previous stroke. 

36. A player shall not play until the opponent's 
ball shall have ceased to roll, under the penalty 
of one stroke. Should the player's ball knock in 
the opponent's ball, the latter shall be counted as 
holed out in the previous stroke. If, in playing, 
the player's ball displace the opponent's ball, the 
opponent shall have the option of replacing it. 

:'.;. A player shall not ask for advice, nor be 
knowingly advised aboul the game by word, look 
or gesture from any one except his own caddie, 
or his partner <>;• partner's caddie, under the 

pen all V of t he loss of t he hole. 

38. [fa ball split into separate pieces, another 



Cbe 1Rule6 160 

ball may be put down where the largest portion 
lies, or if two pieces are apparently of equal size, 
it may be put where either piece lies, at the 
option of the player. If a ball crack or become 
unplayable, the player may change it, on intimat- 
ing to his opponent his intention to do so. 

39. A penalty stroke shall not be counted the 
stroke of a player, and shall not affect the rotation 
of play. 

40. Should any dispute arise on any point, the 
players have the right of determining the party 
or parties to whom the dispute shall be referred, 
but should they not agree, either party may refer 
it to the Green Committee of the Green where 
the dispute occurs, and their decision shall be 
final. Should the dispute not be covered by the 
Eules of Golf, the arbiters must decide it by 
equity. 



SPECIAL EULES FOR MEDAL PLAY 

1. In Club competitions, the competitor doing 
the stipulated course in the fewest strokes shall 
be the winner. 

2. If the lowest score be made by two or more 
competitors, the ties shall be decided bv another 



i;o <3oit 

round to be played cither on the same or on any 
other day as the Captain, or, in his absence, the 
Secretary, shall direct. 

3. New holes shall be made for the Medal 
Round, and thereafter no member shall play 
any stroke on a putting-green before compet- 
ing. 

4. The scores shall be kept by a special marker, 
or by the competitors noting each other's scores. 
The scores marked shall be checked at the finish 
of each hole. On completion of the course, the 
score of the player shall be signed by the person 
keeping the score and handed to the Secre- 
tary. 

5. If a ball be lost, the player shall return as 
nearly as possible to the spot where the ball 
was struck, tee another ball, and lose a stroke. 
If the lost ball be found before he has struck the 
other ball, the first shall continue in play. 

P>. If the player's ball strike himself, or his 
clubs or caddie, or if, in the act of playing, the 
player strike the ball twice, the penalty shall be 
one stroke. 

7. If a competitor's ball strike the otherplayer, 
or his clubs or caddie, it is a " rub of the green," 
and the ball shall be played from where it 
lies. 



£be IRules 171 

8. A ball may, under a penalty of two strokes, 
be lifted out of a difficulty of any description, and 
be teed behind same. 

9. All balls shall be holed out, and when play 
is on the putting-green, the flag shall be removed, 
and the competitor whose ball is nearest the hole 
shall have the option of holing out first, or of 
lifting his ball, if it be in such a position that it 
might, if left, give an advantage to the other 
competitor. Throughout the green a competitor 
can have the other competitors ball lifted, if he 
find that it interferes with his stroke. 

10. A competitor may not play with a profes- 
sional, and he may not receive advice from any 
one but his caddie. 

A forecaddie may be employed. 

11. Competitors may not discontinue play be- 
cause of bad weather. 

12. The penalty for a breach of any rule shall 
be disqualification. 

13. Any dispute regarding the play shall be 
determined by the Green Committee. 

14. The ordinary Rules of Golf, so far as they 
are not at variance with these special rules, shall 
apply to medal play. 



173 Golf 



CHAPTER IX 

etiquette of golf 

The following customs belong to the estab- 
lished Etiquette of Golf and should be 
observed by all golfers. 

1. No player, caddie or onlooker should move 
or talk during a stroke. 

2. No player should play from the tee until the 
party in front have played their second strokes 
and are out of range, nor play to the putting- 
green till the party in front have holed out and 
moved away. 

3. The player who leads from the tee should be 
allowed to play before his opponent tees his ball. 

I. Players who have holed out should not try 
their put Is over again when other players are 
following them. 

5. Players looking for a lost ball must allow 
any oilier match coming up to puss them. 

0. A party playing three or more balls must 
allow a, two-ball match to pass them. 



etiquette of Golf 173 

7. A party playing a shorter round must allow 
a two-ball match playing the whole round to pass 
them. 

8. A player should not putt at the hole when 
the flag is in it. 

9. The reckoning of the strokes is kept by the 
terms: "the odd," " two more," "three more," 
etc., and "one off three," "one off two," "the 
like." The reckoning of the holes is kept by the 
terms : so many " holes up " — or " all even " — and 
—so many " to play." 

10. Turf cut or displaced by a stroke in play- 
ing should be at once replaced. 



174 <3olt 



GLOSSARY OF TECHNICAL TERMS EM- 
PLOYED IN THE GAME OF GOLF 

Addressing the ball. Putting one's self in position to 

strike the ball. 
Approach. When the player is sufficiently near the hole 

to be able to drive the ball to the putting-green his stroke 

is called the " approach-shot." 
Baff. To strike the ground with the " sole" of the club- 
head in playing, and so send ball in air. 
Bafiy. A wooden club to play lofting shots. 
Bent. Rush, bent-grass. 
Bogey. Usually given the title of Colonel. A phantom 

who is credited with a certain score for each hole, against 

which score each player is competing. 
Bone. A piece of rain's horn inserted in the sole of the 

club to prevent it from splitting. 
Brassy. A wooden club with a brass sole. 
Break-club. An obstacle lying near a ball of such a 

nature as might break the club when striking at the 

ball. 
Bulger. A dub with a convex face. 
Bunker. Generally any rough, hazardous ground — more 

st ricl ly . a sand-pit. 
Bye. Any bole or holes thai renin in to be played after the 

match is finished. They are played for singly; unless 

the sides agree to make another match of them. 
Caddio. A person who carries the golfer's clubs, and who 

can usually give him advice in regard to the game. 
Clock. An iron-headed olub of considerable driving 

power and sometimes used for putting. 



Glossary 175 

Club. The implement with which the ball is struck. The 
heads are of three kinds — wood, wood with a brass sole, 
and iron only. 

Course. That portion of the Links on which the game 
ought to be played, generally bounded on either side by 
rough ground or other hazard. 

Cup. A small hole in the course, usually one made by the 
stroke of some previous player. 

Dead. A ball is said to be " dead " when it lies so near 
the hole that the " putt" is a dead certainty. A ball is 
said to fall ' ' dead " when it does not run after alight- 
ing. 

Dormy. One side is said to be "dormy" when it is as 
many holes ahead as there remain holes to play. (This 
word is probably derived from the French, like many 
Scottish terms.) 

Draw. To drive widely to the left hand. (Identical in 
its results with Hookfand Screw. 

Driver. See Play-Club. 

Face. First, the slope of a bunker or hillock ; second, the 
part of the club-head which strikes the ball. 

Flat. A club is said to be "flat" when its head is at a 
very obtuse angle to the shaft. 

Fog. Moss, rank grass. 

Fore ! A warning cry to any person in the way of the 
stroke. (Contracted from "before.") 

Foursome. A match in which two play on each side. 

Gobble. A rapid straight "putt" into the hole, such 
that, had the ball not gone in, it would have gone some 
distance beyond. 

Grassed. Said of a club whose face is slightly " spooned " 
or sloped backward. 

Green. First, the whole Links : second, the putting- 
ground around the different holes. 

Grip. First, the part of the handle covered with leather, 
by which the club is grasped ; second, the grasp itself. 

Half-one. A handicap of a stroke deducted every second 
hole. 



17G <3olf 

Half-shot. Less than a full swing. 

Halved. A hole is said to be " halved" when each side 
takes the same number of strokes. A " halved match " 
is a " drawn game" — that is, the players have proved to 
be equal. 

Hanging. A "hanging" ball is one which lies on a down- 
ward slope. 

Hazard. A general term for bunker, long grass, road, 
water, whin, molehill, or other bad ground. 

Head. This word is a striking specimen of incongruity 
and mixed metaphor. A head is the lowest part of a 
club, and possesses, among other mysterious character- 
istics, a sole, a heel, a toe or nose, a neck and a face ! 

Heel. First, the part of the head nearest the shaft ; second, 
to hit from this part, and send the ball to the right hand. 

Hole. First, the four-inch hole lined with iron ; the holes 
going out are marked with white, and those coming in 
with red Hags. Second, the whole space between any 
two of these. 

Honor. The right to play off first from the tee. 

Hook. See Draw. 

Hose. The socket, in iron-headed clubs, into which the 
wooden shaft fits. 

Iron. A Hid. made <>f the material its name implies, with 
the head more or less laid back to loft a hall. A most 
deadly weapon in a good player's hands. 

Jerk. In " jerking." the club should Btrike with a quick 
cut behind the ball, and stop on reaching the ground. 

Lie. First, the inclination of a, club when held on the 
-round in a natural position for striking; second, the 
situation of a hall, good <>r bad. 

Like. See under Odds. 

Like-as-wo-lio. When both sides have played the same 
number of st rokes. 

Links. The open downs or heath on which golf is played. 

Loft. To elevate the ball. 

Long odds. When a player has to play a stroke more 



Glossary 177 

than his adversary, who is much further on — that is, 
nearer the hole. 
Made. A player, or his ball, is said to be " made" when 
his ball is sufficiently near the hole to be played on to 
the putting-green next shot. 

Mashie. A club which, both in its make and its uses, is 
a compromise between the niblick and the iron. 

Match. First, the sides playing against each other; 
second, the game itself. 

Miss the globe. To fail to strike the ball, either by 
swinging right over the top of it, or by hitting the 
ground behind it, is counted a stroke. 

Neck. The crook of the head where it joins the shaft. 

Niblick. A small, narrow-headed, heavy iron club, used 
when the ball lies in bad places, as ruts or whins, etc. 

Nose. The point or front portion of the club-head. 

Odds. First, means the handicap given by a strong player 
to a weaker in a single match, consisting of either one, 
two, three or more holes to start with or one stroke per 
hole, or every alternate hole, or at every third hole, etc. ; 
second, to have played ' ; the odds " is to have played one 
stroke more than your adversary. Some other terms 
used in counting the game will be most easily explained 
here all together. If your opponent has played one 
stroke more than you — that is, "the odds"— your next 
stroke will be " the like ; " if two strokes more— that is, 
" the two more " — your next stroke will be : ' the one off 
two ;" if " three more," " the one off three," and so 
on. 

One-off-two, One-ofF-three, etc. See under Odds. 

Play-club. A wooden-headed club, with full-length shaft, 
more or less supple : with it the ball can be driven to the 
greatest distance. It is used when the ball lies well. 

Press. To strive to recover lost ground by special hard 
hitting — a very dangerous thing to attempt. 

Putt. To play the delicate game close to the hole. (Pro- 
nounce u as in but.) 
12 



178 Oolf 

Putter. An upright, stiff-shafted, wooden-headed club 
(some use iron heads), used when the ball is on the put- 
ting-green. 

Rind. A strip of cloth under the leather to thicken the 
grip. 

Rub on the green. A favorable or unfavorable knock 
to the ball, for which no penalty is imposed, and which 
must be submitted to. 

Scare. The narrow part of the club-head by which it is 
glued to the handle. 

SclafF. When the club-head strikes the ground behind 
the ball, and follows on with a ricochet. 

Screw. See Draw. 

Scrufl. Slightly razing the grass in striking. 

Set. A full complement of clubs. 

Shaft. The stick or handle of the club. 

Sole. The flat bottom of the club-head. 

Spoons. Wooden-headed clubs of three lengths — long, 
middle and short : the head is scooped, so as to loft the 
ball. 

Spring. The degree of suppleness in the shaft. 

Square. When the game stands evenly balanced, neither 
side being any holes ahead. 

Stance. The position of the player's feet when address- 
ing himself to the ball. 

Steal. To hold an unlikely "putt" from a distance, but 

not by a " gobble." 

Stroke. The act of hitting the ball with the club, or the 

attempt to do so. 

Stymie. When yum- opponent's ball lies in the line of 

your " putt." 
Swing. The sweep of the Hub in driving. 
Swipo. A full driving stroke. 
Toe. The pat of sand on which the ball is placed for the 

first >-t roke each h<>]<'. 

Third. A handicap of a stroke deducted every third hole. 



Glossary 179 

Toe. Another name for the nose of the club 
Top. To bit the ball above its center. 
Two-more, Three-more, etc. See under Odds. 
Upright. A club is said to be "upright " when its head 

is not at a very obtuse angle to the shaft. 
Whins. Furze or gorse. 
Whipping. The pitched twine uniting the head and 

handle. 
Wrist Shot. Less than half a shot, generally played with 

an iron club. 



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^ i 



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By Agnes H. Morton like good manners. ^ Even though one 
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A DICTIONARY OF Most of us dislike to look up i 

MYTHOLOGY mythological subject because 

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ORATORY Few men ever enjoyed a wider ex- 

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SOCIALISM Socialism is "in the air." fl Reference! 

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9 



WHIST "According to Cavendish" is now 

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ASTRONOMY : Can you tell what causes 

The Sun and His Family day and night, seasons 

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10 



BOTANY : The scientific study of 

The Story of Plant Life Botan y made as »ntere&- 

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^ Without doubt the best book on the subject. 

II 



ASTROLOGY If you wish to obtain a horoscope of 
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GRAPHOLOGY : Do you know that ev«ry 

How to Read Character time you write five or 
from Handwriting six lines y° u *™* a 

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character? Anyone who 
understands Graphology can tell by simply examining your 
handwriting just what sort of a person you are. ^ There is 
no method of character reading that is more interring, more 
trustworthy, and more valuable than that of Graphology, 
and it is the aim of this volume to enable anyone to become 
a master of this most fascinating art. 

12 



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